|Updated: 12/20/2011 10:21 am
||Published: 12/19/2011 10:00 pm
PINE BLUFF, AR - Police and firefighters in Pine Bluff are disappointed the city council didn't discuss pay raises at Monday night’s meeting they say were promised to them.
The fire and police departments supported the city's sales tax increase with the belief a portion of the funds would go toward their salaries. There was no vote or even discussion of the raises or next year’s budget Monday night, as the council intended. With two aldermen absent, the council put off taking action, disappointing firefighters and police officers who hoped the city would follow through with the $600,000 in raises promised if the sales tax passed.
LaRon Edwards is an engineer with the Pine Bluff Fire Department. “This is the last meeting of the year, and I thought for sure they would talk about it tonight or at least discuss it.”
Instead of the $600,000 raise for public safety employees, the mayor is proposing a 4.1 percent increase for all city employees, while the city council supports a $1,800 across the board raise.
Edwards says, “We're not asking for any more or any less. We're just asking for what was promised just to the public safety employees.”
Firefighters and police officers hope the postponed budget vote means there's still hope the city will follow through with the original raises.
David Ellington is the President of the Fraternal Order of Police. “Hopefully the people of Pine Bluff will call their city council members and ask them to do the right thing.”
It is possible the city council could call a special meeting to address the raise and budget concerns, or the council could vote at the next meeting January 3rd.