Council debates pay increase for secretary

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 28, 2003

In a time of tight budgets, the Selma City Council is debating raising one city employee’s salary by around $6,000.

At the council’s Monday meeting, council members discussed raising the council secretary position’s salary to $30,000. Dianna Johnson currently serves as council secretary.

Councilwoman Nancy Sewell began discussion on the issue saying that the salary should be increased to $29,500.

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Personnel Director Valeria Jones, however, said her concern was one of consistency and fairness. &uot;Talk is already going around,&uot; Jones said. &uot;If this salary is granted, you can rest assured there will be others as well.&uot;

Jones added that if a position’s duties changed, a job analysis procedure must be completed for salary reclassification. She noted that there were 10 individuals waiting for that reclassification.

While completing research on the matter, Jones contacted about 25 municipalities and found that only one had a full-time council secretary. Others were either part-time or performed additional duties outside the council office.

Council President George Evans said he was concerned about leaving the council wide open and suggested the issue should have waited until the next fiscal year.

Sewell then said the position should be changed from &uot;council secretary&uot; to &uot;administrative assistant&uot; and the salary raised to $30,000. Councilwoman Jean Martin, though, said a title couldn’t be changed in order to raise a salary.

Sewell made a motion, which was seconded by Councilwoman Rita Sims Franklin, to change the title and raise the salary, but both motions were withdrawn after Councilman Glenn Sexton chimed into the discussion.

If a job is posted, any number of people can apply for the position, and it wouldn’t be reserved for a specific individual.

Jones said the council’s action would create a new position. Sewell and Franklin then withdrew their motions.

In a related discussion, Sexton asked Jones if the position of assistant city clerk was a merit or appointed position.

According to Jones, it was a merit position, but it wasn’t posted.

The position of assistant city clerk was created at the council’s Oct. 13 meeting at the request of Mayor James Perkins Jr.

After a unanimous vote of the council to create the position, Perkins said former legal secretary Ivy Harrison would serve as the assistant city clerk.

In other matters the council:

Passed an ordinance by 6 &045; 3 requiring the Selma Water Works and Sewer Board to pay a license tax equivalent to 3 percent of its gross income for the previous year. Council members B.L. Tucker, Sexton and Franklin opposed.

The ordinance goes into effect upon its publication.

Voted unanimously to limit trick-or-treating from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday.

Martin said traffic would be &uot;unbelievable&uot; on Friday because of various football games and Selma High School’s homecoming.