Council considers raises

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Brundidge City Council approved the first reading of an ordinance Tuesday that would raise the salaries of the council members for the next administration from $500 a month to $600 and the mayor’s salary from $1,100 a month $1,500. The council will vote on the raise for the next administration at a following council meeting.

The ordinance was brought to the table by District 2 Councilmember Arthur Lee Griffin.

Four of the council members said they are in favor of raising the salaries for the next administration.

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Only Margaret Ross, District 3, said she is opposed to the raise.

“I don’t think the council needs a raise. I don’t think we deserved a raise,” she said. “If we are going to give a raise to anybody, it needs to be to the city’s employees on the lower end of the pay scale. They are ones who deserve a raise.”

Ross said she will decide at a later time whether she will seek re-election.

Griffin said he asked for the ordinance to be read because he thinks a raise is due the council members because of future projects that are on the table that will “make Brundidge smell like a rose.”

“People don’t realize we work 24-7,” he said. “We get called out all the time. You just don’t know how many calls I get and what all I do. The next council members, whoever is elected for the next four years, is going to have a lot more to do.”

Griffin said he is planning to run for re-election but things could change.

Steven Coleman, District 5, said he, too, is in favor of a salary increase for the next administration.

“The city workers get a cost of living raise every year and the council should get a raise, too,” he said. “A hundred dollars is not that much for all we do.”

Coleman, who has dual residence in Brundidge and Troy, said he will not seek re-election.

Cynthia Pearson, District 4, said a raise for council members is in order.

“I’m on the road all the time doing for the city,” she said. “I attend as many functions as I can and that’s a lot. Council members put in a lot of time and a lot of work. They deserve a raise.”

Pearson said her plans are to run for mayor. If she runs for mayor, her seat on the council will be vacated.

Betty Baxter, District 1, said, too, that she favors a raise, because it is deserved.

“As much as we do all the time,” she said. “Listening to complaints about dogs and weeds and water running in the yards, cars at the park and at the car wash. With all that, the council deserves a raise.”

Baxter said she will seek re-election.

Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas said the city has several projects totaling $3 million that will be underway by mid-summer. The city, he said, is waiting for reimbursement for funds expended for damages caused by flooding from rains in December.

The council voted to award the bid for sewer improvements that were not allowed by ADEM in the city’s overall water system improvement project. The industrial cell for an industrial water stream was outside the ADEM project. The original bid for the project by Blankenship was $96,000 but was negotiated to $84,000.

The Brundidge City Council meets at 4 p.m. on the first and third Thursdays of the month at Brundidge City Hall. The meetings are open to the public.