Hattiesburg City Council wants updated pay scales before approving raises

Hattiesburg City Council wants updated pay scales before approving raises
City Council votes to table pay raise item

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The fate of the agenda item concerning pay raises for Hattiesburg city employees is still undecided.

The agenda item was brought up during the Tuesday city council meeting and quickly tabled with a 4-1 vote until the pay ranges and tables are updated.

"Those attachments go back to 2006 and we have had a couple of adjustments to the HAVPAY report or HAVPAY ordinance since that time, and they are still not up to date," said City Council President Kim Bradley.

During Tuesday's meeting, Hattiesburg Chief Financial Officer Sharon Waits was questioned about the status of the revision of the pay table, to which she added, the revisions should be done by the city clerk and the human resources department.

After Waits listed the specifics of the four raises and approvals on the agenda item, Bradley replied.

"When we get the attachments to the HAVPAY ordinance we will be happy to have the discussion, but until then, I'm not going to vote for it," said Bradley.

Waits said the only reason she is even involved in any of this is to make sure that any changes that are made to the HAVPAY schedule are budgeted appropriately.

In the Monday work session, Waits was questioned about the status of the pay revisions, and she quickly told the council they would have to speak to the mayor, adding that she was not currently working on them.

According to Bradley, HAVPAY also allowed the mayor to give raises without the council's approval, unless the raise exceeded the amount that was set by the position.

In turn, the council voted to change that ordinance, requiring the mayor to bring the personnel in various positions and payment changes to the council for approval.

"Why are we going to go out and start raising other peoples' salary and moving people around? That had a lot to do with why we took that authority away from the mayor, because the HAVPAY ordinance was not being properly handled," Bradley said.

Bradley noted that with the annual budget discussions just around the corner, he does not see how pay raises can be discussed.

"Who is supposed to be paid what, that is a pretty good question, because in a lot of cases it can't be answered," Bradley said.

The mayor did not attend the Tuesday city council meeting.