City pay raises

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 27, 2006

Salary increase approved for policemen, firefighters, attorney

By Victor Inge

The Selma Times-Journal

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Selma police and firefighters are getting a pay raise, as will the city attorney, who single-handedly represents the city and serves on four boards with the help of one legal secretary.

During Monday’s regular meeting of the Selma City Council, a pay increase for attorney Jimmy Nunn drew discussion for and against. The measure passed on a 5-3 vote, with Council President George Evans, Councilwoman Jean Martin and Councilman Cecil Williamson voting against the pay increase for the city attorney.

Nunn, who h $2,000 each. His new base pay will be $61,272.

Valeria Jones, city personnel director, told the council she researched salaries for attorneys throughout the state to learn attorneys employed between five and nine years had base salaries ranging between $61,000 and $67,000. During the discussion prior to the vote Evans said it was nothing personal, but in his opinion some personnel salaries were “off the charts.”

Councilwoman Bennie Ruth Crenshaw said Nunn was “grossly underpaid,” and recalled “each attorney for each board was paid up to $10,000 a year,” prior to Nunn coming on full-time as the city attorney.

The council voted unanimously to approve a raise for firefighters and sworn police officers. According to Jones, their raises will be 2 percent, and will commence on each employees’ anniversary of employment. Mayor James Perkins Jr. said the pay increases for public safety employees was written into the 2006-2007 budget, but the council “had to approve them.”

Perkins said he was proud of the fact he has been able to increase salaries for all city workers since being elected.

“When I took office there were employees working full-time, some for several years, were making $5.50 an hour, trying to support their families,” Perkins said. “We don’t have a single position that pays less than $7 an hour. This is another area where the City of Selma is ahead of the game.”

Perkins recognized Fire Department Chief Henry Allen and a delegation from the SFD, who were called to The Epworth House during the early morning hours Sunday. A third floor room of the assisted living facility caught fire, but was contained to one room. Perkins thanked the firemen for all they did, and said the outcome could have been much worse. One resident, Johnnie Jefferson, whose room the fire originated, was hospitalized for injuries.

“When you enter a three-story building, with a 30-minute air supply, we don’t know what we’re getting into,” Allen said. “We got a blessing from God.”

Allen said some of the 48 residents couldn’t walk and some couldn’t move, but everyone was evacuated from the 2500 Franklin St. facility until the building was deemed safe. Perkins thanked the SPD, which helped by transporting residents to Dunn’s Nursing home and to a secondary staging area, which was set up at Wal-Mart.

In other business:

Perkins presented Randi Harris of the City Finance Department with a pin and certificate in honor of 20 years of service.

Perkins honored Terry Jackson of the Parks and Recreation Department for 10 years of service.

Council members approved Friday, Dec. 22 and Tuesday, Dec. 26 as Christmas Holidays for city employees.