Aldermen approved pay raises for all city employees Oct.17 — increasing the amount initially discussed for each employee and requiring that one employee who had been left out be put back on the list.
The discussion took place during the second reading, or final approval, of the salary schedule portion of the 2017-18 budget, which, along with approval of the budget, had received preliminary approval Oct. 3.
The schedule originally called for a 4.5 percent increase for each employee, with some “catch-up raises” for individuals at the bottom of the pay scale.
Mayor Jeff Palmore had requested each worker’s pay be increased by 86 cents per hour.
However, Alderman Nick Chlebowski also asked to amend the schedule to increase the pay of every employee by $1 per hour. He said he had discussed the amount with the city administrator and it would not add substantially to the budget.
“We have adequate funds to cover the added amount,” Chlebowski said.
Alderman Mike Pigg made a motion to amend the salary schedule to add Angela Downing, police department administrative assistant, back on the list.
Pigg said if every employee was to get a raise, as the city administrator noted, Downing should also get a raise.
Palmore said Downing’s name had been omitted because she received a raise a couple of months ago.
“The dog catcher makes more than she does and she’s been here 33 years,” Pigg said. “If everybody gets a raise, she needs to get a raise.”
Pigg added that Downing should be paid according to her importance to the community.
“She goes above and beyond whatever the city needs, whether it’s bookkeeping, working events, dispatch,” Pigg said.
Alderman Carol Johnson agreed saying she would agree to the pay raises only if Downing was included in the list.
“If everybody gets a raise that means everybody,” Johnson said.
The ordinance for pay raises was unanimously approved. Employees will see the increases effective immediately.