Opinion

Got a Minute: City not a bad gig

In a town with a population of around 1,800 people, one might suspect city employee wages would be commensurate.

Posted on 1/4/14

By Lee Coleman

After attending a special called city commission meeting last Monday for the discussion of wages, I stand before you and say there was nothing commensurate to come out of this meeting and I was wrong in my theory of relativity.

The whole premise of the meeting was to determine how to attract quality applicants for future job opportunities in the city.

With a policy-based $2,000 per month starting wage, the city fathers took action and raised the starting base rate to $2,500 per month for salaried employees and $2,700 for new department heads.

Or for us common folk, $30,000 per year. $30,000 per year!

Now, if said new employee takes advantage of the city’s free health insurance benefit and insures themselves and their family, well, add another $12,037 and the starting package exceeds $42,000.

Call me Jiminy Cricket on steroids but that is a dang good package to start a new job in a town of 1,800.

In light of this revelation, the commissioners did not forget the 11 current city employees already on the payroll.

If their salary fell below the new policy, they received increases to bring them up to speed.

There were five employees who got a bump. If you factor in the raises that were approved for the new 2014 budget year, those five employees got raises of $247, $420, $370, $300 and $500 per month.

I may be a dumb ol’ Southern boy but that’s not a bad way to start off the new year.

Interestingly, the city will have a new board of commissioners after the November election with three seats open for the taking.

This new board will have to approve the new 2015 budget.

With city healthcare costs already swirling in the pot and minimum starting salaries now at $30,000, only the shadow knows for sure what will happen.

But in the meantime, being a city employee is not a bad gig.

Any way you shake it.

Coleman is the editor of the Republican and can be contacted at leecoleman88@yahoo.com.