Sometimes things just don’t make sense


Here we go again. Sometimes things just don’t make sense no matter how someone explains them. Sometimes things happen that cause me to scratch my head and go “hmmmm”. This is one of those times.

In the city council meeting when the new budget was adopted, I heard several things that did not make sense and that caused red flags to go up like City of Italy employee salaries and raises. I turned in an open records request for all employee salaries for 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 which would show the raises they received. When I looked at the information the city furnished me I discovered some things that just don’t make sense no matter how you look at them. How can the city justify giving most of the employees a 3% raise and others large hourly raises? Are they being rewarded on job performance? What is the reason for this?

I calculated the hourly employees on 40 hours per week times 52 weeks for a total of 2,080 hours worked in a year. Here is what I came up with.

Mayor & Department Heads
Employee 2013-2014 2014-2015 Raise per hour Raise per year
James Hobbs $15,600.00 $15,600.00 None None
Teri Murdock 60,000.00 60,000.00 None None
Dean Carrell 60,000.00 60,000.00 None None
Shawn Martin 48,000.00 48,000.00 None None
Jackie Miller, Jr. 18,249.18 18,249.18 None None
So, the mayor and department heads received no raise.
Next is the Police Department
Employee 2013-2014 2014-2015 Raise per hour Raise per year
William Cherry $16.50 $16.50 None None
Samuel Click 16.50 16.50 None None
Daniel Pitts 21.00 21.00 None None
Guy Saxon 16.50 16.50 None None
Michael Stevens 17.50 17.50 None None
Jennifer Walls 15.45 15.45 None None
Sue Lauhoff 14.00 14.45 45 cents 936.00
Now for city hall
Employee 2013-2014 2014-2015 Raise per hour Raise per year
Becky Boyd $ 17.16 17.67 51 cents 1,060.80
Ronda Cockerham 19.80 20.39 59 cents 1,227.20
Clarice Crocker 14.20 14.63 43 cents 894.40
Manuela Martin 15.00 15.45 45 cents 936.00
Roshunda Walker 10.00 10.30 30 cents 624.00
Now for Public Works
Employee 2013-2014 2014-2015 Raise per hour Raise per year
Norman Chappell 10.00 10.30 30 cents 624.00
Jeff Claxton 10.00 27,664.00 3 dollars & 30 cents 6,864.00
Jacob Hopkins 29,120.00 33,280.00 2 dollars & 00 cents 4,160.00
Clint McCasland 38,500.00 39,665.60 56 cents 1,164.80
Shedric Walker 13.50 33,092.80 2 dollars & 41 cents 5,012.80

In all the years I have either worked for or attended budget workshops, I have never seen anything like this. If employees received a raise, it was a certain percentage for everyone. This year, most employees got a 3% raise. Public Works was the exception to this. None of this makes sense to me.

I understand all the employees getting a 3% across the board raise. That is the fair thing to do. What I don’t understand are the raises for public works employees.

If the city is going to give raises to employees, it should be fair. I don’t see anything fair in what has happened this year. I am wondering if the City Council even looked at this.

Why would a public works employee that has not been here a year (approximately 7 months) receive a raise when police officers that have not been here a year did not receive any raise? Why would that employee receive a $3.30 cent per hour raise when a supervisory employee that has been here almost 3 years only receive .56 per hour which is 3%. This just does not seem logical to me.

When a public works employee works hard and gets a water or sewer licence, it should mean a raise in pay at that time. But to just give a public works employee a $6,864 yearly raise instead of at 3% which would have been $624.00 when they have not even been here for a year is absolutely unacceptable. Giving an employee with no licenses a $5,012.80 raise instead of a 3% which would have been $842.40 sounds crazy to me. Nothing personal with any employee – this should not ever happen. The city council needs to justify this to the citizens. We need to hold them accountable.

This year Ellis County employees received a $900 per year raise. That is far from the $6,864 that a city employee got.

In my last Karen’s Korner, I stated that one council member voted “no” on approving the budget. I wonder if this is the very reason that the one council member voted not to adopt the current budget. Guess time will tell. The end for now.