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Mayor recommends no raises

Mayor Les Bumgarner suggested Tuesday night that the boardconsider holding off on pay raises for city employees due to atight budget situation.

Bumgarner told the board in anticipation of Thursday night’scontinuation of Tuesday’s meeting, which was recessed, that hisrecommendation would be no raises for anyone at this time.

“It’s just not a good time to be doing that …,” Bumgarnersaid. “I know we’ve kicked a lot of things around long enough.That’s where I stand on it, but it’s your budget. I don’tvote.”

As aldermen have discussed budget matters for almost a monthnow, several situations have been bounced around, includingpossibilities from no raise and 3 percent raises for city workers.Some aldermen suggested no raise for elected officials, but aslight raise for city employees, and some have suggested only araise for the public works director, a position that has taken onseveral new responsibilities this year.

Bumgarner also suggested lowering appropriations for parkbathrooms from $55,000 currently budgeted to $30,000 and to use anysurplus budget money for emergencies during the next year. Thecity’s new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

The board did not vote on Bumgarner’s suggestion because WardOne Alderman Dorsey Cameron was not able to make it to the meetingdue to a job-related obligation. The board will meet again onThursday at 5:30 p.m. in hopes of finishing budget discussions andclosing out the argument on pay raises.