Fayetteville aldermen voted unanimously Tuesday night to allow the city to give its employees a 3.8 percent raise, although a City Council member tried to insert a last-minute detail into the measure to also give aldermen a raise.
Members of the Fayetteville City Council passed the measure after last year’s operating budget showed an $862,000 surplus. The cost of the raises comes to about $1.22 million, according to City Council documents.
While aldermen were discussing the measure, City Council member Sarah Marsh suggested tying the City Council’s pay to the raises being approved for city employees over the last two raise cycles. The measure would have given aldermen a raise of about 8 percent, but no other council members seconded Marsh’s proposal, causing it to die before it could be fully voted on.
Marsh said she wanted a pay raise for aldermen in order to allow an added incentive for prospective candidates to the council. Too often, local residents consider running for a spot on the City Council, only to balk after seeing the pay, Marsh said.
Alderman Matthew Petty said he agreed with Marsh, but that her proposal caught him off-guard and he could not vote for her measure Tuesday night.
Employees who have worked for the city for at least six months are eligible for a raise. Mayor Lioneld Jordan released a set of guidelines for the money that includes step increases for uniformed personnel beginning March 17. Other employees will also be eligible for raises based on merit, according to the mayor’s guidelines. These raises would also go into effect March 17.
The guidelines also state uniformed personnel must have completed at least one year of service as of March 31 to receive a raise.