City employees are paid bi-weekly and there are a total of 26 pay periods. When comparing payroll costs from the current year to previous years it should be done using the same number of pay periods.

The 2019 vs 2020 gross payroll comparison in the article is not an “apples to apples” comparison. The author attempted to calculate average monthly gross payroll for 2020 by dividing the 2020 YTD (as of July 2nd) by 6. The problem with this is that July 2nd was the 14th pay date of 2020 and that data was included in the 2020 YTD. This means the author’s calculated average monthly gross pay for 2020 was inflated due to an additional pay period that occurred on July 2nd.
Here is a comparison of 2019 YTD vs 2020 YTD based on the same number of pay periods (15 pay periods).

YTD 7/18/2019
YTD 7/16/2020
Difference

Gross Pay
6,001,619.45
5,824,178.98
177,440.47

Please note that 2019 costs were higher than 2020. This is primarily due to reduced spending on seasonal employees and a partial hiring freeze.
According to the city’s original e mail that the article was based from, gross payroll was provided as: Question: Total payroll current? last year? As of 7/2/2020 Gross payroll YTD = $5,392,855.22; 2019 Gross $10,242,842.44

Salary Ordinance
We publish a summary of the salary ordinance in an Olathe newspaper.

Merit & COLA
The article points out that the merit was $60,000 in 2013 and $80,000 in 2014 and has significantly gone up since then. The reason the merit was so low back in 2013 and 2014 is because the city also had COLA/Market increases back then. The city stopped giving COLA/Market adjustments after 2014 and moved to a pay for performance system (only merit increases).
According to original information received, the merit pay has quadrupled during the last seven years.