Council disagrees on raises, cars

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 22, 2015

In a 3-2 vote, the Opp City Council on Mwonday night approved a $9.6 million budget.

Councilmembers Mary Brundidge and TD Morgan voted against it, while Arlin Davis, Bobby Ray Owens and Mike Booth voted for it.

Brundidge and Morgan, along with Owens, expressed concern about purchasing another Tahoe for the police department in the work session.

“Another police vehicle? I just can’t see this,” Brundidge said.

Another topic of discussion was employee pay raises.

Brundidge said she thought the employees should get a 5 percent raise.

“I think it should be 5 percent instead of 3 percent across the board,” she said.

“That doesn’t mean it’s going to be across the board,” Mayor John Bartholomew said.

Bartholomew said that Davis had suggested a merit system, in which the employees would be evaluated on their anniversary.

“Why not a cost of living?” Morgan asked.

“On the merit system you earn it,” Bartholomew said.

Davis said it would give the city better employees.

“That’s discriminating,” Brundidge said. “I’ve been over there. If someone don’t like you – I would go with a 5 percent across the board raise.”

Owens said he thought merit system was a good thing.

Booth agreed.

“I worked in it for 20 years,” he said.

Morgan said he thought the city should give the employees a COLA increase every year.

“They work for it,” he said.

Bartholomew said that could be determined at a later date.

“Or we could try it for a year,” he said.

Highlights of the budget include:

• $57,300 in salaries for the mayor and council;

• $196,000 in salaries for clerk and assistant, which includes six employees;

• $54,000 for city hall salaries of two people;

• $6,000 for salaries for auxiliary police;

• $990,000 for police department salaries;

• $35,000 for a new Tahoe for the police department;

• $200,000 for firemen salaries;

• $18,000 for auxiliary firemen salaries;

• $520,000 for street department salaries;

• $49,000 for sanitation department salaries;

• $30,000 for new garbage cans;

• $85,000 for judicial department salaries;

• $36,500 for shop department salaries;

• $68,000 for library department salaries;

• $200,000 for parks and recreation salaries;

• $411,000 for capital outlay for the new pool and pool house;

• $93,000 for salaries at the senior citizens center;

• $178,900 for the Rattlesnake Rodeo; and,

• $836,000 for the educational department expenses.