Council on Tuesday approved a comprehensive
salary and compensation study for City employees,
only after being assured that modifications would
still be allowed following the approval. Kaatz
& Associates conducted the study.
Mayor Jim Woestman
prefaced the consideration by saying that after
Kaatz explained the recommendation, the City
Department heads, Council members and City
employees would be allowed time for questions.
Several City employees were present at the
Kaatz gave a
detailed synopsis of how the information used in
the study was collected, and how it was
implemented to arrive at the recommendation.
Employees are ranked on a scale, based on one
already in place by the City. There are 11 grades
and 17 steps per grade. The grades and steps
determine the salaries of the employees. Pay
scales were also compared against other similar
got rather substantial (pay) increases, some got
relatively small increases compared to the larger
ones," said Kaatz, "because their pay
is relatively close to what it should have
Fire Chief John
Cooper expressed concerns about employees who are
approaching the top of the scale, or
"topping out." Cooper said he felt
there should still be some yearly increase in pay
for those who have been with the City for a long
Kaatz said that it
was a difficult problem, but that all cities have
minimum and maximum pay for positions. Kaatz
added that those employees would still be subject
to Cost of Living Adjustments. Kaatz also
suggested that if the City approved it, a smaller
percentage increase could be added for every year
after topping out.
Police Chief Greg
Dagnan told Kaatz that 1/3 of the Police
Department has been employed by Carthage for 20
or more years. He said that some of them cannot
be promoted beyond where they are, and that there
are no openings.
talking about 35-year veterans topping out,"
said Dagnan. "Whats going to be our
that a percentage could be added for each year
after topping out, recommending something less
than a full step increase.
really the only suggestion you have?" asked
Dagnan, indicating that some higher ranking
employees might leave as a result.
Kaatz said that if
any officers leave, it would allow for more
Commissioner Tom Shelley said he had found some
discrepancies in the report, and that some of the
Street Department employees had gotten lowered 2
to 3 steps.
dont coincide," said Shelley.
have to look into that one," responded
When the Council
members were allowed time to speak,
representative Claude Newport noted the mistake
pointed out by Shelley.
"If there are
mistakes in the report that you get, you start to
question the content of the report," said
Newport. "Are there any mistakes?"
are not," responded Kaatz.
"Did you say
that there are no mistakes?" asked Mayor
that there might be some "issues",
which could be resolved by reviewing the levels.
Several other City
employees expressed disappointment in the study.
said that the results of the study were late,
making it difficult to coordinate it with the
Fiscal Year 2009 budget. Woestman asked if the
numbers could still be changed if the study was
approved by Council. City Attorney Nate Dally
responded that modifications would still be
possible after approval.
The motion to
accept the study was approved in a 9 to 1 vote,
Council member Dan Rife voting against.