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Board makes 5 percent salary raises official

Brookhaven aldermen Tuesday made 5 percent pay raises forthemselves and other city employees official with a 5-2 vote tospread the new pay totals on the minutes of the board’smeeting.

There was no discussion as the board approved the raises thatwill take an alderman’s salary to $13,608 a year and the mayor’ssalary to $54,432 a year, excluding health insurance and otherbenefits covered by the city. Aldermen Les Bumgarner and BobMassengill, who took office in July, voted against the measure andwill not receive the pay raises.

After the meeting, Ward 1 Alderman Dorsey Cameron, who made themotion on the issue, commented on the pay raises.

“I don’t see where it makes any sense to not increase aldermen’ssalaries and the mayor’s,” Cameron said. “I think if the citizenslook back, we’ve done an excellent job the last four years.”

Cameron said the increases were not big and he discounted thethought that the alderman’s job is part-time.

“You get called on 24 hours a day,” Cameron said.

Earlier in the board meeting, aldermen dismissed a letter fromWard 4 residents Edwin and Chase Wolff suggesting the mayor andaldermen reduce their salaries to $36,000 and $6,000 a year,respectively. While not advocating the proposal, Massengill said hewas asked to present the letter to the board.

Mayor Bill Godbold said the letter writers could “hang it up” asfar as the board following the suggestion. He was also criticalthat the suggestion was not made in person.

Until several years ago, the Wolffs regularly attended cityboard meetings. They quit coming shortly after Godbold and othernew officials were elected over four years ago.

In other employee-related action, aldermen approved a new cityemployee coverage plan that includes a 21 percent increase inpremiums.

Aldermen also renewed public official liability insurancecoverage with no increase in premiums and a workers compensationplan that sees about a 50 percent increase in premium. The yearlypremium is expected to go from $83,000 to over $125,000, due inpart to a major claim from several years ago.

“This is the best proposal I got,” said insurance agent MikeSmith, mentioning other policies with costs of $133,000, $154,000and $174,000.