JENNINGS — A Jennings town employee questioned the raises the city clerk and manager received the last two years at the town’s Jan. 3 meeting.
David Gause, lead operator of the town’s water and wastewater plant, said that in 2017-2018 all employees received a 2 percent raise, while City Clerk Christy Smith received $15,038. He added she received a $4,160 raise in 2018-19 while other employees again received a 2 percent raise.
According to Smith, the council approved a salary of $52,000 for Smith and City Manager George Glover in 2017-2018. This resulted in a raise of $15,038 for Smith and $14,103 for Glover. The total salary for the 2018-2019 budget was $56,160 with an approved raise of $4,160 each.
“How can the council justify that she gave herself that amount of money without the approval of the council,” Gause asked. “How can one employee be allowed to give herself $19,000 in a two-year period without the approval of the council.”
Mayor John Prine said the raises were approved.
“We approved the raises when we approved the budgets,” he said. “Their responsibilities is greater than other employees. They are the ones running the day to day.”
Smith said Glover received the same raises as her.
Gause said he was not questioning the raise of the city manager, just Smith, because he knows the city manager has many responsibilities.
“You are telling me her job is that important,” Gause asked. “I hold two state licenses for the town to run water and sewer plant.”
Prine said the council gave the employees another 6 percent raise this year when they heard the employees were not satisfied with 2 percent.
Smith confirmed employees received an 8-8.5 percent raise for the 2018-2019 budget.
“We want it to be fair,” Gause said.
“I remember when you wanted to do wastewater treatment, we paid for you to go to school out of our own budget to help you get this qualification so it’s not like we haven't bent over and tried to help you and see you through your job,” Prine said.
Prine said the council is always willing to work with employees if they are unhappy.
The council plans to bring all employees to the budget workshop this year and ask them what they need.