COPPERAS COVE — The city terminated 139 employees since 2012. Of those employees, 77 were listed as full time.
Kevin Keller, spokesman for the city, said the city did not keep track of how many department heads resigned, retired or were fired, but of the 139 employees, at least one was former Copperas Cove Fire Chief Burney Baskett.
Keller said he could not clarify personnel records obtained by the Herald in an open records request. The records did not specify each employee’s position or department, or if the “terminated” employee decided to resign, retire or was fired.
City records indicate 41 employees were fired, resigned or retired in 2012, 83 in 2013 and 15 in the 2014 calendar year.
That means that due to yearly fluctuations in city staff, Copperas Cove’s average turnover was 14 percent in 2012, rose to 29 percent in 2013 and currently is at 5 percent this year.
Keller said there are a total of 305 city employees, including seasonal employees. Copperas Cove has about 20 positions unfilled, and has hired 62 people this year.
Employees leave for various reasons, he said, but reasons could include retirements, relocation, other employment, compensation or a combination of the options listed.
To retain employees, the city provides a competitive compensation and benefits package, recognition programs, seeks employee feedback through city manager focus groups, a learning environment, conducts regular performance appraisals, provides professional development training opportunities, and works to keep employees engaged, he said.
The most recent city staff raise occurred in October, when some city employees received a merit based raise of up to 3 percent of their salary, depending on evaluations, Keller said.
The city spent about $11.5 million on employee salaries and benefits in fiscal year 2013, according to city documents.
The city manager’s department budget was $243,000 in salary and benefits for fiscal year 2013, with a projected increase of about $27,000 in the next fiscal year.
The department with the lowest salary and benefits budgeted in the Parks and Leisure Cemetery department, with a salary of $30,000.
The highest budgeted department salary-wise is police services, with about $4.4 million funding 71 police officers’ salaries.
The longest tenured employee is Joe Wooten, public works wastewater chief plant operator, who was hired by the city in July 1978, Keller said.