While you are struggling to pay your bills and put food in your pockets, the Mayor is requesting an across the board raise of 1.6 percent for County employees, growing government in a down economy!
Recently the County Commission voted to not give raises to the County employees and Tuesday in the Banner Mayor Davis ignores that decision and presses on in favor of the raise.
County Commissioner Jeff Yarber proposed raises on those only making $ 45,00 dollars or more instead of the 1.6 percent increase for all employees. Some advocates for the raise have suggested that the raises be based on merit, not just because they work for local government. The Total cost of the raise according to my estimates will cost an extra $ 125,000 dollars.
In a Monday work session of the Finance Committee Connie Wilson said the step plan of Merit pay would cause the fund balance to go under 10 percent, like we havent seen that before. They even suggested that the money from a local sherrifs auction go to fund the 1.6 percent raise and that would make about 108,000 available without raising taxes or move it from some other department . Hey Earth to Connie, if we werent giving a raise you wouldn’t be racking your brain to see how close we can get to broke!
Then you pose the question that will take care of the short term funding, “How do we support it year after year?” Wilson went on to suggest that we could move $91,000. Dollars from the General fund and still keep the fund balance above 10 percent, come on guys! Are we so broke and simple that we are arguing semantics over trying to do everything we can to cut it as close to the 10 percent fund balance as required by law? Really, do we want to live that close to bankrupting out County, really?
J. Adam Lowe stated that “my concern is we seem to be getting further and further away from a revenue neutral spectrum, (what is a revenue neutral spectrum, sounds like something an OB GYN doctor would use) as much as I support this plan (we would love for you to say one time I oppose this plan and here is why, the middle of the road gets unclear sometimes), Ive got a lot of concerns about dipping into the general fund” Mr Lowe is correct, although I don’t care for the term “revenue neutral” as it leads to memories of the left leaners in DC trying to sell you something, but none the less a valid point. If we are this close to being broke WHY IN HADES ARE WE GIVING OUT A RAISE in the first place.
Commissioner Elkins also pointed out that our fund balance has decreased by more than 4 million dollars since 2008.What are we doing in Bradley county? Needless to say we are also dipping just to make payroll as is and now a raise, good lord people! He went on to suggest that Capital projects were used for purchasing equipment that is not long term, such as computers or vehicles.
The ever so Optimistic and effervescent Connie Wilson chimed in to say “There have been dire economic times……in Bradley County……Im proud of the fact we havent had a tax increase. Connie you don’t need a tax increase when the County is creating value in your home and making you pay more, even though the housing market is pretty much non existent. Wilson also defended the decisions made concerning capital projects funding. Woooo hoooooo, Earth to Connie! We are still in tough economic times, we are no better than we were in 2008. Connie we are broke! Period! End of sentence!
Excerpts from the Cleveland Daily Banner