GREENWOOD (KFSM) -- For the first time in nearly a decade, members of the Greenwood City Council are getting a raise. They will be paid 10 percent more than in years past.
This after the Greenwood 2015 budget was passed Saturday (Jan. 24) in a 4-to-1 vote. (One of the six councilmen was absent.)
Councilman Lee Johnson said he doesn't want the pay increase.
“I don't want to vote with us getting a raise. I want to take that out. I’d like to take that out,” Johnson said in the city council meeting.
Mayor Doug Kinslow, his executive assistant and the fire chief are also getting pay raises. It was noted in the meeting that Kinslow’s executive assistant was formerly titled “Administrative Assistant,” but has been given a new title because of her workload.
The newly-elected mayor said he doesn't want to accept the raise.
“At this point, I can't do anything about it. They passed it -- it’s in there. I am going to look into it and see if I can do something else with it, possibly. Maybe move it around and use it for another purpose,” Kinslow said.
All department heads in the city will no longer receive money from the city specifically allocated for merit pay.
Department heads, like Police Chief Will Dawson, will have to go to the council if and when they want to give an employee a bonus. The money will either come from within the department's individual budget, or the city's budget, if approved by the council, Kinslow said.
“In the past every department was given a certain pool of money that they use to do the analysis themselves and come up with a number,” Dawson said.
Johnson was the only council member to vote against the budget.
“We’re not denying people raises. What we're doing is trying to decide if we can afford to allow the heads of the department to give bonuses based on merit,” Johnson said in the meeting.
All city employees will receive a cost of living adjustment this year, Kinslow said.
The last time council members received a raise was in 2006, according to Kinslow.
Each of the six councilmen will earn $3,284 in 2015, according to finance director Ann Eglinsdoerfer.