Pay raise must wait

Published 1:16 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

If Selma city employees are approved for a pay raise, it will be decided at a later date.

A work session scheduled for Tuesday at 4 p.m. was unable to proceed because a quorum was not available, meaning the meeting will have to be rescheduled.

Council members Bennie Ruth Crenshaw, Bennie Tucker, Greg Bjelke and council president Cecil Williamson arrived for the meeting, but could not start because they must have five members.

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Williamson, who apologized to those in attendance, said the meeting will have to take place at a more convenient time.

“We’ll have to reschedule it until everyone can show up,” he said.

In the future, Crenshaw said she hopes more people can attend because of the matter at hand.

“We are very serious about this matter,” she said. “We don’t want to play games. This is a meeting we need to have.”

During a previous meeting, Selma Mayor George Evans proposed a cut in salaries for himself and the council members to make room for the increase in pay.

However, during Tuesday’s regular meeting of the city council, city attorney Jimmy Nunn said each member must volunteer to give up a portion of his or her salaries.

“It comes up under 1143-9 of the Alabama Code as far as compensation changes during a term in office,” he said.

“It says compensation shall not be increased or diminished during the term for which they are serving. That is the answer to that.”

Changes, Nunn said, can only be made for future terms.

“You can vote to increase the 2012 salary for the incoming council, and the deadline is February,” he said. “The only way they can decrease the salary is if they voluntarily gave it up.”

The idea for a pay raise for city workers was first brought to the council during its Sept. 27 meeting when Crenshaw suggested the city use money saved from a recent restructuring of the city employee’s annuity plan to fund a pay raise.

Evans, at a future meeting, suggested a cut in council salaries and forfeiture of funds in the travel budget.

A date for the rescheduled meeting was not announced Tuesday.
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