Time to adjust city pay

Published 1:28 am Friday, November 6, 2009

In looking over the budget for the current fiscal year, reporters for The Selma Times-Journal have noticed big discrepancies in salaries among peers in departments and among those in various departments.

These salary gaps have been noticed before by others not in the media. About two years ago, a commissioned police study noted the problem with salary levels in the Selma Police Department and brought it to officials’ attention. The problem with recruiting more police officers is the dearth of livable wages with some incentives.

Selma has experienced hard economic times. This is a given. Even before that city employees really had no equitable step, graded salary plan.

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Mayor George Evans is moving forward at a careful pace. He has appointed committees to examine city expenses, such as the many computer printers and copying machines used in the city. His committee on that issue saved the city about $2,400 a month that’s at least one salary, perhaps one and a half salary for the year for a worker.

While Evans is working on this issue, he needs to call together a committee and include the city’s general government committee to write an equitable step, pay grade plan that should become effective before the fiscal year 2011, which begins next October.

The public expects good employees. The public expects its tax dollars to pay for ample police and fire protection.

The city cannot compete with others if its salary scheme is a mess.