Commission to consider pay increases for appointees

ALBANY, Ga. -- The Albany City Commission will consider a recommendation from a committee that salaries be increased for the four commission appointees, officials said Tuesday.

The raises would bump up the salaries of the city attorney, city clerk, assistant city clerk and the municipal court judge. The raises were recommended by a Commission subcommittee consisting of Commissioners Roger Marietta, Tommie Postell and Dorothy Hubbard.

During the Commission's meeting Tuesday, Postell said the increase was timely and that the salaries of some of the appointees, like City Clerk Sonja Tolbert and Assistant City Clerk Sissy Kelly, were out of line with their counterparts in the county.

"We think there needs to be an adjustment in their pay to bring them up to the county's pay level," Postell told the Commission.

If the Commission adopts the recommendation of the subcommittee at its night meeting later this month, the salary for Tolbert will increase by $4,525, $2,760 for Kelly and $4,160 for City Attorney Nathan Davis.

The subcommittee is currently reviewing Municipal Court Judge Willie Weaver's salary, which was initially overlooked, to determine how much his raise should be and will likely make that recommendation at the Commission's work session next week.

According to documents obtained by the Herald through a request using Georgia's Open Records Law, the last time any of the appointees received a pay increase was in 2008 when all city employees and appointees, except for Weaver, received a cost-of-living adjustment.

The last time Tolbert and Kelly received a full salary increase was in 2007. Davis has received only cost-of-living adjustments since he was hired in 2003, according to the documents.

City officials contend that the pay increases coincide with the implementation of a pay study that was first undertaken in 2006 but wasn't implemented until July 1, 2009. Phase I of that plan adjusted the salaries of 160 employees who, the study showed, were not being paid at the recognized minimum pay levels for their positions.

The second phase of the pay plan for employees is budgeted to be implemented in January at a cost of $450,000, and will adjust the pay of roughly 400 employees to reflect their experience, education level, and time on the job, Assistant City Manager Wes Smith said.

The pay adjustments implemented through the pay plan do not affect the salaries of appointed city officials.