Hustonville City Council finally approves employee pay scale

Published 11:06 am Friday, October 12, 2018

HUSTONVILLE — A new pay scale for city and water employees has been a bone of contention between Mayor David Peyton and the Hustonville City Council over the past few months.

After a lengthy discussion in the July meeting, the council approved a new pay scale only to have Peyton announce at the August meeting that he was using his veto authority to overturn the vote saying, “wages were excessive.” In September, the council did approve employee pay raises of 10 percent, but still put off approving a new pay scale.

The issue of a new pay scale has finally been resolved.

In the October meeting, the council approved the pay scale placed before them by Peyton by a vote of 5-0. Councilmen voting were Jimmy Lane, Alan Sims, Marc Spivey, Cecil Maddox and Jimmy Evans. Dudley Hardin was absent.

The new pay scale raised the starting pay for city and water department new hires from $1.75 to $2 an hour and the raise after 90 days from $0 to $2.

Under the old pay scale, if a new city/water clerk was hired their starting pay would have been $10.50 with a jump to $11.50 after 90 days. With the newly approved pay scale, the new city/water clerk would start at $12 an hour then move to $12.50 after 90 days.

The new pay scale also posted pay for water department workers, including those with certification, assistant city clerk and chief of police.

For water department workers, the starting pay went from $10 an hour to start and a jump to $10.50 after 90 days to $12 and $12.50. A new hire assistant city clerk went from $7.25 an hour to $9. The raise after 90 days remained at $9.35. And a new chief of police would go from $10 an hour to start to $12 and from $10.50 to $12.50 after 90 days.

The complete list of new pay scale rates along with the old rates are in graphic above.

However, while the new pay scale was approved, it did not go off without a little hitch.

When the item was brought up on the agenda, councilman Jimmy Evans spoke up immediately.

“I made a motion last month that we would go with this pay scale and give the employees a raise and I understood the vote was 6-0. So why is it on here tonight?” he questioned.

“I don’t think the pay scale was included in that motion, it was just the raises for the employees,” said Peyton.
Evans disagreed.

“When I made the motion, I said use the same pay scale except you might have said something about going from $10 to $12. Somebody did. I made a motion to leave the pay scale where it’s at and give employees a 10 percent raise and we voted 6-0 on that but yet it’s here ‘updated pay scale’ on here tonight,” he said.

Peyton responded to Evans by reading from the minutes of the city council’s September meeting.

“After much discussion of the pay scale, councilmember Evans made the motion to give full-time and part-time employees with five years of service a 10 percent raise increase with it being retro back to July 1, 2018. Council member Hardin second. All in favor.”

“I also said leave the pay scale where it was at,” Evans said. “But it’s not here (minutes).”

A silence fell over the meeting after Evans’ retort.

Peyton finally broke the awkward silence by saying, “Our minutes are our legal record. So, if it’s not in the minutes, then it wasn’t recorded.”

“We haven’t fixed the pay scale,” Peyton added. “We did employee raises. Griffin (Harness) is the only one affected by the current pay scale. All we’ve done …”

“We need to move it from $10 to $12,” Evans interrupted.

“That’s what we’ve done,” said Peyton. “From $10 to $12 and after 90 days to $12.50. That’s all we’ve done. So by our current pay scale, come Jan. 1, Griffin will take a $1.25 (75 cents) pay cut.”

“What?” Cecil Maddox questioned.

Peyton reminded the council that under the current pay scale rate, that Harness would be receiving a cut in pay in the new year.

“That don’t make no sense now, does it?” said Evans.

“That’s because the pay scale hasn’t been set,” said Peyton. “We’re still on the old pay scale. The only thing council voted to change was the starting pay and the pay after 90 days.”

Evans agreed that the council should “fix that tonight.”

“I meant for the new pay scale to be in the motion last month. I apologize for not correcting that last month,” he said.

“We can fix it in one minute if you make a motion,” Peyton said.

Evans made the motion. Jimmy Lane seconded it and the motion carried.

In other business, Peyton updated the council on the progress of the Fire and EMS Project, noting that weather and plumbing issues have caused some delays.

“Of course, everybody knows we had a lot of rain last month. And (they) had another little holdup when they went to get their plumbing permits,” he said. “All the specifications that had been turned into the state had been done so long ago that they had to be resubmitted. That caused us a little delay there. Plumbing inspection was scheduled for today. I wasn’t able to get a hold of them to see if it passed.”

“That’s where we stand right now. Once the plumbing is in then they can get it to grade, get the rebar and stuff and get to pouring concrete.”

Peyton said that, according to the schedule, that “we should be moving in in February.” But he added that it could be March before the actual move. He said two bunk rooms for EMS have to be completed before the move can be made.

The council also addressed Paul Isaacs’ request for an easement for sewer hookup.

“Right now he’s being charged a monthly sewer fee and actually the sewer is not available to him,” councilman Marc Spivey said.

“How can they charge him a sewer fee if he’s not hooked up?” Maddox asked.

“He should not be charged a sewer fee if service is not available,” Spivey said.

Spivey said he felt the sewer board had an obligation to bring the service line to Isaacs.

“The sewer board should be responsible to take the sewer to him, to make it available to him. Another thing, too. If he’s being charged and the sewer’s not available to him, the sewer board needs to refund his money because that’s just not right,” he said.

Peyton offered to talk to Bill Payne about getting Isaacs’ money refunded and suggested allowing the sewer board an easement over city property to bring sewer to Isaacs.

The council agreed.

“The motion is to grant an easement to the Sanitation District to bring a service line for Mr. Isaacs’ property, with that work to be completed by June 2, 2019 or the easement is voided.”

Motion carries.

During the meeting, the council also set Trick or Treating hours in the city. The council voted to hold Trick or Treating hours on Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 5 to 7 p.m.