The Nicholson City Council may amend the Personal Policy and Procedures manual to addresses how the city would handle compensatory time. If the council approves this change, employees would be paid at time and a half for any hours worked in excess of the 40 hour work week.
The matter was discussed at a city council meeting held Thursday, March 25.
The proposed amendment to the policy reads, “It is not the policy of the City of Nicholson to award compensatory time in lieu of cash payments for hours worked in excess of the employee’s full time, 40-hour work week.”
It came to light that some employees have built up compensatory time during an audit, and the council began to discuss changes to the policy. Mayor Jan Webster and all council members agree that they will honor the accrued compensatory time.
Under the proposed amendment, employees may elect to receive a cash payment for the unused time, roll the time into the employee’s Paid Time Off (PTO) or a combination of the two.
In other business at the meeting, the mayor and council discussed the city budget. Thomas Gary asked about employee raises for the last three years.
“We’ve been giving three percent increases, and other government employees have only been getting one and a half or two percent," he said.
According to the charter, it states that the mayor presents the budget to the council, which includes salaries and benefits, and the council votes on that budget. There was some discussion about how detailed the budget needs to be when it is presented to the council as well as stressing that the council needs to proactively asks questions about at the budget approval time.
The salary for the mayor and council was also discussed. There were no suggestions for an increase, but city attorney Jody Campbell said an amendment to the charter would be necessary for a raise. Right now, the charter states that the mayor should receive $4,800 and the council should receive $2,400 a year; they are paid in monthly installments. If a raise is suggested, it would not start until the next election takes place.
Thomas Gary and Dusty Durst are up for re-election this year, while Mayor Webster along with council members Mike Barfield and Lamar Watkins terms will be up for re-election in 2023.
To further discuss and possibly vote on these issues, the Nicholson council will meet on Monday, April 5.