The Lebanon City Council has a lot going on this week, with two scheduled special called council meetings and a work session on its plate.
First, council will meet Tuesday at 5 p.m. for a special called meeting to take care of nine items on final reading, along with three items on first reading.
Council would then meet again Wednesday at 5 p.m. for another special called meeting. The three items on first reading from Tuesday would then be on the agenda to be voted on final reading Wednesday if approved.
Most items on the agenda consist of ordinances that involving a bidding process, so the city will meet in a special session in order to get the ball rolling.
Items included approving bids for annual signage repair, permission to purchase a sprinkler system for the IT Room at City Hall, approving bids for six police cars for the Police Department and approving fencing for the Police Department gun range, among other things.
Finally, council will then meet immediately following the special called meeting Wednesday to talk about one-step employee pay increases.
The topic has been one of contention for council over the previous weeks, with an ordinance passed Oct. 29 to approve the step raises for some employees followed by Mayor Philip Craighead vetoing the ordinance Oct. 31.
Before its veto, the ordinance passed would only give the raises to those who didn’t receive a pay increase or promotion included in the 2013-14 fiscal year budget, and those who did receive a raise then would be excluded from this one-step increase.
At its meeting last Tuesday Craighead then proposed the same ordinance, just adding additional employees left out—around 20—to include giving a raise to all city employees.
Council then amended Craighead’s proposal to include adding part-time employees to also receive the raise.
With Councilors Fred Burton and Kathy Warmath absent, the ordinance failed to pass by a 2-2 vote. Councilors Rob Cesternino and Tick Bryan were yes votes, with Lanny Jewell and Joe Hayes dissenting.
Different councilors then expressed their concerns and interests in meeting to hash out the issue to get it resolved once and for all.
“We need to get together to figure out what’s going on,” Bryan said. “I want to know everyone’s reasoning behind their thinking and voting for this because it’s really looking bad.”