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Grantville Council approves budget amendment for employee pay raise

  • By Jeffrey Cullen-Dean
  • |
  • May. 10, 2022 - 9:50 PM

Grantville Council approves budget amendment for employee pay raise

The Newnan Times-Herald

The Grantville City Council approved a budget amendment to give city employees a one dollar per hour raise and a five percent cost of living adjustment.

A special-called meeting was held on May 9, before the council's work session, to vote on the amendment and to approve an emergency purchase of an air conditioning unit for the city clerk's office and the public works office.

Council members Casey Evans, Jim Sells and Alan Wacaser voted to approve the budget amendment, while council member Ruby Hines voted against.

The pay increase was previously approved at the council's April 25 meeting.

Because of rising inflation, Sells proposed the pay increase to help with city employee retention.

Sells said the pay increase will be supported through a $1 million surplus the city has from its property tax increase

Hines voiced opposition to the budget amendment. Though she is in favor of pay increases, she said she cannot support the budget amendment because city employees have not resigned from law wages, some residents have not received reimbursements from the city for incorrect sewer charges and two former city employees did not receive premium pay through American Rescue Plan Act funds.

The two former employees left their employment with the city before the cut off date to receive premium pay, said Hines.

The budget amendment was given to the council as resolution, and Mayor Doug Jewell said he felt the amendment should be approved as an ordinance.

City Attorney Mark Mitchell said the city charter allows for the city's budget to be adopted as either a resolution or an ordinance, and added that amendments should follow the process used to adopt the budget.

According to Jewell, the budget was adopted as an ordinance, so the amendment should also be an ordinance.

However, the majority of the council voted to adopt the budget amendment as a resolution shortly afterwards.

A few of Grantville's residents voiced their support for the pay raises during time for citizens' comments at the meeting.

Grantville resident Dee Berry, said she was in favor of the pay increases, as long as the employees' pay was comparable to municipalities similar to Grantville.

"I don't feel we should be competing with larger cities and their salaries," she said. "I think we should stay within our budget and our city's ability."

Brandon McDowell, a Grantville resident, also supported the pay raise.

He said the city employees should be compensated for their good work.

Grantville resident Marion Cieslik voiced his own support for the city employee pay raises and added that the mayor and council members should receive a pay raise, too.

He said the council members should take a more active role in city affairs and should receive more money for doing so.

"Mr. Mayor, you make $300 a month. The rest of y'all make $200 a month," Cieslik said to the council. "Go ahead and get yourself a pay increase. You should vote for that. $600 for the mayor and $500 for the council members."