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Tensions arise as council voted to upgrade city's pay band system

In the latest city council meeting, things got a bit personal as council members argued with each other during a vote on an important issue. Updating the pay band system has been a hot topic for the past few months, and now a decision has been reached.

“If you run for mayor, I hope your slogan is, ‘this is the best we Can do,’” said Councilman Weston Lindemann to Councilwoman Kim Houston.

Tensions ran high as Councilman Weston Lindemann and Councilwoman Kim Houston exchanged heated comments when discussing the vote on pay bands in the latest city council meeting.

“Even if we pass this or don’t pass this, it’s a matter of micro-managing them. So, if we don’t pass it, there’s still going to be something not right, and in thirty days we’ll be right back here with some other reason not to move forward. It has been an on-going, continuous cycle, and when we have had opportunities outside of these microphones to discuss and make changes, you were silent,” said Houston.

The council did vote yes to update the city’s 1991 pay band system and to adopt the Stennis Study average as their new maximum pay band. This updated pay band system was proposed by the administration so they can advertise job positions properly and also to give raises to public works when that time comes.

“Time and time again we’re choosing this rushed approach to conduct city business. We’re choosing the easy way, that status quo, this phrase that I hear, ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it’, or that’s the best we can do right now. While the new year is just around the corner, these old concerns are going to keep following,” said Lindemann in disagreement with the vote to push forward this new pay band system.

Lindemann claims some employees are shown favoritism and allowed unauthorized pay increases. In bringing these comments to the council once again, Houston tells him that he needs to let the administration do their job and he do his.

“So, your comments—be careful. From what I understand it’s not me, but you. Be careful, be careful,” said Houston to Lindemann.

All city employees’ pay is frozen until after the first of the year when the new pay band system kicks in. There are currently around 17 employees outside of the pay band, and those employees will be looked into after the first of the year.

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