City Council holds off city employee raise issue

Published 12:00 am Monday, January 7, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &045; During their first regular session meeting of the year, the City Council again brought up the issue of raises for city employees with no more answers to the concern.

As decided in their last meeting, the council would address the issue with more numbers by the end of the first quarter, which would be at their Jan. 17 meeting. Mayor Cecil P. Williamson, however, briefly delved into the city finances by presenting some research she had done on the subject.

Based on her comparison of the last several years between the city budget and its reserve funds, she concluded, &8220;The end of the year money is always short.&8221;

In response to Councilman Woody Collins&8217; assertion at the last meeting that the reserve funds have decreased significantly from when they entered office four years ago &045; from approximately seven months operating funds to close to five months operating budget &045; Williamson said expenses had gone up, which required reserve funds to be used.

Collins again was displeased, saying nearly all the city&8217;s expected revenue has been budgeted, meaning there are no funds being earmarked to go toward the city&8217;s reserve.

The council is expected to again address the raises at the net meeting, with figures on the city&8217;s finances from the first quarter of the fiscal year.

Contract renewal

After working with Mason and Gardner CPAs on the city finances and audits, the council reached the decision Thursday to make changes to its contract with the company.

In the past, the city paid $2,000 on a monthly contract basis to have them perform internal tasks as well as bookkeeping tasks.

The city will now contract out work from the company on an &8220;as-needed&8221; basis, which will be determined by Paula Byrd, city clerk. Byrd said she views the role of the company as someone who can perform more internal control and policy concerns, while she and the city staff can perform more routine tasks such as account reconciliations.

In other business, the council:

Accepted the board appointment of Sharon Farst to the Beautification and Tree Commission.

Held a first reading of an ordinance to amend the business license codes to reflect a change regarding licenses for renting and leasing.