A controversy was stirred up at last Tuesday's City Council meeting when Councilman Don Williams asked for an investigation into the fire department payroll. Williams had been approached by several firemen who reported discrepencies in their pay since 2008.
The council voted no but agreed to take the matter up after next Tuesday's regular meeting.
Yesterday, it was announced that the special meeting dealing with the pay issue had been cancelled. I was told it was due to a couple of people not being able to attend next week.
After talking to a couple of people, I have been able to learn that the problem arose in the way the 2008 pay raise was implemented. Civil Service has strict rules regulating the way it is to be handled and apparently these rules weren't followed, resulting in short checks for virtually the entire department.
I was told by one source that the amount being looked at is over $800,000, and by another source that it is more likely between $1,200,000 & $1,400,000.
I have also learned that Mayor Lo Walker plans to ask the council for $700,000 at next week's meeting.
Depending on the amount that is finally determined, that might well be short of the total due.
This brings a lot of questions, not the least of which is why the City was not aware of the rules governing pay.
It also raises the same question that the incorrect report of Deputy Sheriff's income last year.
That question is, doesn't anyone double-check and assure that things are being done properly? Isn't the city audited? If so, why wasn't this caught?
if not, why not?
I'll have more next week as this begins to flesh out.