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City gives final OK on raises

Sara McManamy-Johnson sjohnson@lebanondemocrat.com • Dec 17, 2015 at 5:34 PM

Lebanon City Council gave the final OK Tuesday to give all employees one-step raises.

The raises have been a source of contention for the past several weeks, with an ordinance passing Oct. 29 to approve the step raises for some employees followed by Mayor Philip Craighead’s veto the ordinance Oct. 31.

Craighead chose to veto the ordinance because it 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.

Craighead later proposed the same ordinance, but included the around 20 employees previously left out and added “permanent part-time” employees to the mix of those who would receive raises.

With councilors Fred Burton and Kathy Warmath absent, the ordinance failed to pass by a 2-2 vote.

Nov. 19, Councilor Rob Cesternino amended the proposed one-step raises, which were set to take effect Jan. 1, and asked for the date to retro back to July 1 to include the whole year.

Cesternino and Craighead both said the city was running ahead in sales tax revenue for the year and had the money to fund the raises now with the surplus in revenues.

The council supported Cesternino’s amendment and voted 6-0 in support of the amendment and one-step raises for city employees.

During city council’s regular meeting Tuesday, Cesternino proposed an amendment to make the raises effective July 13 instead of July 1. He explained that because of how the pay periods fall, an effective date of July 1 would impact the previous year’s fiscal budget.

Council unanimously approved the amendment before approving the raises on second reading, also unanimously.

“Even though Kathy’s name isn’t on this, we do need to give her a lot of credit because she is the one that got the ball rolling on this,” said Cesternino.

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