Gardner increased the number of employees this year and salary totals.
Gardner increased the number of full time employees from 155 in 2020 to 159.5 for 2022.

In addition, the total budgeted salary for full-time, part-time, and temporary/seasonals is:

Gardner employees have not received a cost of living increase since 2014, however they receive increases based on merit.
This year a three percent merit pool that totals $286,500 was budgeted. The amount is split between the police department ($75,800) and the other departments ($210,700). The $210,700 for the non-public safety departments is budgeted in the HR Division’s budget.  The police department merit pool is budgeted separately because the city used to have to track public safety operational costs separately.
Actual merit increases are calculated at the end of the year after performance evaluations are conducted.
“We won’t know the break down between departments until then,” said Daneeka Marshall – Oquendo.
Changes in staff include:
The Public Works Department budget includes an additional Senior Staff Engineer, Senior Maintenance Worker, and Maintenance Worker.
Through the city’s process improvement efforts these positions were identified as areas that can build capacity to enhance performance and delivery of services, Oquendo said.
The police department budget includes two additional police officer positions, which will help create stability and expand public safety services including truck traffic enforcement.
The finance department budget includes an additional Staff Accountant and moving a Municipal Court Clerk from part-time to full-time.
These additions will increase financial management capacity and assist with maintaining service levels as the community grows in term of both volume and complexity.
In addition there is also a planned reclassification of a Building Inspector to a Plans Examiner in the Community Development Department. The budgeted increase is five percent, which is approximately $2,852 on an annual basis.
A Prosecutor will be promoted to a Lead Prosecutor in the Municipal Court Division. The budgeted increase is five percent, which is approximately a $1,236 on an annual basis. The total amount for those two salary increases is $4,088.
In 2021, the city eliminated two (2) meter reader positions due to the implementation of smart meters. The two employees were transferred to the Utilities Department to fill other vacancies.
:I’m mentioning this because we added 6.5 new FTEs for 2022, but we reduced the revised 2021 budget by two FTEs. This means that 2022 is only 4.5 FTEs more than 2020,” Oquendo said.