Council OK’s pay raise for city employees

By RON HARRIS
Posted 7/11/18

Jasper City Council members unanimously approved a pay raise for city employees during Tuesday’s city council meeting. The pay raise, which was introduced during the council’s last meeting …

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Council OK’s pay raise for city employees

Posted

Jasper City Council members unanimously approved a pay raise for city employees during Tuesday’s city council meeting. 

The pay raise, which was introduced during the council’s last meeting on June 19, will go into effect with the next pay period.

“We made history today,” Mayor David O’Mary said concerning the pay hikes. “Every full-time employee in the city will be paid a market rate of pay as we know it from a specially developed pay plan. That didn’t happen by accident, it’s because of a lot of people buying into our plan to run this city more efficiently to where we have the money to make this possible.”

The pay raise will go to all full-time city employees; part-time employees will not be affected.

O’Mary said many times the mayor and council gets credit for the good things happening in the city. 

“That’s just wrong,” he said. “Jasper is what it is because of the hard-working men and women who go to work right where the rubber meets the road and delivers the goods to the taxpayers of this city. It’s high-time we pay these people the market rate they deserve.”

“I just hope we never fall behind again like we did,” he added. 

The total cost for the pay raise will be about $310,000 a year, city clerk Kathy Chambless said.

“I want to commend Mayor O’Mary and Kathy for taking the steps in making this occur,” said former mayor and current council member Sonny Posey.

Both Jasper Police Chief J.C. Poe and Fire Chief David Clark thanked the mayor, Chambless and council members for working to secure the pay raises.

“I want to say on behalf of the fire department, we appreciate the mayor and council for the raises,” Clark said. “A lot of times the work we do goes unnoticed, and this is a reward for our people who get out and do the job every day.”

Poe said the pay raises should help with employee retention, which has in the past been an issue for both the fire and police departments.

“I appreciate everything you’ve done to get this in place,” Poe said. “It’s long overdue. Hopefully it will help the morale of the employees of the city and help with retention. We have a lot of great employees in the city of Jasper, and they are one of the greatest resources this city has.”

“It’s just the right thing to do,” O’Mary said.

In other business, council members:

•approved minutes of the June 19 council meeting.

•presented a proclamation to Jasper resident Marlin Shubert, who is a longtime member of the gospel group The Inspirations. 

The proclamation, presented to Shubert by O’Mary, expressed the city’s appreciation to Shubert for “representing our city well,” and wished him the best in his future endeavors. 

Shubert has, according to the proclamation, “represented the city across our nation as a well-respected bass singer, as Jasper is announced as his hometown at each of the 80-plus concerts each year.”

Many of Shubert’s friends and family members were at Tuesday’s council meeting.

“It’s always an honor for me to recognize local folks who have distinguished themselves on such a broad scale,” O’Mary said. “Marlin has always represented our community well.”

“I want to say how much I appreciate this honor,” Shubert said. 

The Inspirations will be in concert at 5 p.m. Sunday at Jasper’s First Baptist Church. Admission is free.

•held a public hearing and approved a restaurant retail liquor license for on-premise consumption for GRP of Jasper, which operates Garfield’s in the Jasper Mall. 

•approved event permits for:

— the Walker County Homecoming Reunion, which is set for this weekend. More than 1,000 people are expected to participate in the bi-annual event.

— The ‘Libraries Rock’ summer reading finale from 9 a.m. until noon at the Jasper Civic Center.

•introduced an amendment to the city’s budget to approve funds from the 2017 bond issuance in order to build a park pavilion at Percy Goode Center.

The cost of the project will be about $14,000.

•approved a proposal from LBYD Engineers for replacement of a dehumidifier at the Memorial Park Natatorium.

The work with LBYD Engineering is necessary because of engineering work that will be needed to put the new equipment in place, O’Mary said.

 “It’s a very massive piece of equipment,” O’Mary said. 

•adopted a resolution to allow O’Mary to sign a nutrition agreement with the Middle Alabama Area Agency on Aging for fiscal year 2019.

•adopted a resolution to place several properties under the city’s nuisance abatement ordinance — two for being deemed unsafe structures and 10 for having overgrown grass and weeds.

•adopted a resolution to approve a standardized procedure for special events in the city.