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Colleen Windsor resigned yesterday from the office of City Councilman Jim Madaffer. The resignation comes a month after the councilman recorded a 21-percent deficit in his fiscal year 2006 budget, largely because of adding Windsor’s position to his office.

Windsor, who served as former Mayor Dick Murphy’s spokeswoman, cited two reasons for her departure.

“One, I didn’t think it was right that my coworkers were going to have to take pay cuts. Two, I’m a new mom and I’m enjoying it,” she said in an interview.

She had been on maternity leave since April.

Madaffer hired Windsor to oversee the Grantville redevelopment area in his District 7 and was originally told by city staff that he could use the increased tax money that comes with the creation of a redevelopment area to fund her position.

However, after she was hired, city staff determined that she would have to be paid directly from the councilman’s annual budget. The creation of the redevelopment area is currently being held up by a legal challenge by the county.

The cost of her $88,000-a-year salary, benefits and other unforeseen costs pushed the councilman’s budget into a $176,000 – or 21 percent – deficit. The councilman essentially started off fiscal year 2007 with a $126,000 deficit, but said he would accommodate Windsor’s salary throughout the year by asking employees to take unpaid time off and through other “salary savings.”

As we reported last week, each employee in his office would have had to take $15,813 worth of unpaid time off to cover the shortfall. That equals more than 10 weeks off unpaid leave. Madaffer’s employees make approximately $16,000 more a year on average than city council staffers in the second highest-paying office.

“It really isn’t right that my coworkers would have to take a pay cut,” Windsor said.

Here’s the original post that started it all.

ANDREW DONOHUE

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