WARNER ROBINS -- City Council on Monday delayed a decision on implementation of a new pay plan for employees until it gets more information and determines how to fund it.
The city was presented earlier in the day with updated figures that indicated the minimum cost of the plan would be $743,626, and that is just for the first year. The increase would then become an ongoing annual expense.
Councilman John Williams said he supports implementation of the plan, but only after finding a way to pay for it without an additional tax increase.
“If we implement it, we don’t have the money,” Williams said. “The only way to pay for it would be to take it out of savings and that, in my opinion, is spending money we don’t have.”
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Although the council did not vote on the matter, Councilman Bob Wilbanks spoke in favor of implementation.
“The city of Warner Robins is not broke,” he said. “We do have money in reserve to pay our people and it’s ridiculous to say we don’t.”
The plan is the result of a study done by the Carl Vinson Institute for Government with the intent of making salaries more equitable. Wilbanks said the study found that most city workers are underpaid.
Williams said he also wanted to delay a vote to have those who did the study come down and talk to the council about the updated cost figures.
The figures presented Monday offered six options for the council, with the cost of each ranging from a low of $743,626 to a high of $1.3 million.
Councilman Paul Shealy indicated the major issue is not if the council will implement the plan but when.
“This is something we are going to do,” he said. “I want the employees to know the mayor and council are going to do this as soon as possible.”
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.