The mayor and City Council have settled on a budget that includes significant pay raises for themselves — though not nearly as lofty as they’d originally planned.
One council member, Roger Bray, however, believes even a middle-ground approach sends the wrong message, as the city has been stingier in boosting salaries of other municipal workers. Bray also noted the city’s proposed budget would cut a total of five vacant police and fire positions.
Bray joined council members Jim Johnston and Rick Cheatum in voting against the raises. The budget must still be formally approved at a future meeting.
Blad and council members who support the raises have faced a public outcry, especially from police and firefighters who were in the midst of heated negotiations about their own wage increases. Police and fire union members also made the claim that more significant adjustments were in order to bring their salaries in line with surrounding communities.