City employee raises should be consistent

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 6, 2005

To the Editor:

Let me try to get this straight in my mind.

Last year, Mayor Perkins cut funding to the library by some $40,000 and cut out half the health insurance premium payments for retired city employees to the tune of about $60,000. This he justified to the citizens and council as necessary to balance the budget.

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Now, this year we have a budget surplus but these items are not reinstated.

The library struggles to pay their power bill as do the retired city employees while they also try to pay their insurance premiums, which have now doubled. (Should the city’s broken promise to the retirees be a warning to current employees?)

All right, not to our latest mayor-induced controversy, the pay increases.

Four percent should be four percent whether it’s a director’s salary or a general services employee.

Make it across the board.

No problem, it passes.

The only reason I can see that Mayor Perkins is so insistent on his directors getting big raises is the possibility that he hired them at a lower rate (to keep the budget down at the time?) while promising a large raise in the future.

The problem is that the council would have to approve the increases, not him. So now, to save face with his directors, Perkins won’t remove the directors’ raises from the proposal and let the council pass it like they said they would.

According to The Selma Times-Journal (thank God for Julian Helms), the council is willing to vote in favor of the pay plan if the mayor removes the big raises, but he won’t.

That makes it obvious to me that the mayor’s cronies come first, before the library, before the retired employees and, in spite of what is claimed, before the current employees.

Apparently, at least in his game, all does not mean all and as usual, the little man suffers.

How about that! I believe I do understand this after all.

Footnote to Councilwoman Venter: Everyone knows it’s a common tactic to play the race-card when you have no legitimate argument, but good grief, two of the people who voted against the pay plan are black and one of them is a black woman!

Tommy D. Shipley