Demopolis council sympathetic to employee’s raise request

Apparently you can fight City Hall in Demopolis.

A Demopolis Police Officer who was denied a merit increase received the pay adjustment by a 4-2 vote of the council at its Thursday meeting.

Sheila Rogers brought a concern before the council regarding her failure to receive a one-step merit increase after a year’s employment, as spelled out in the department’s policy manual.

“I’m not trying to show any disrespect to the Mayor, personnel committee or to (Police) Chief (Tommie) Reese,” she told the council.

Mayor Mike Grayson indicated that he had previously responded to her that the city was not giving raises at the time of her completion of one year’s employment. The council then voted to go into executive session to discuss the matter further, after which the Mayor indicated that there would be “no further comment or action.”

However, council member Nathan Hardy then made a motion to grant the increase. The motion passed 4-2, with Grayson and Bill Meador voting no.

“Congratulations, Sheila,” Grayson said after the vote. “Men, I don’t know what to say to you.”

Reese then brought various budget adjustment requests to the council. Reese emphasized that his department is not over budget, because the officers’ overtime in question is reimbursed by various organizations for which DPD provides coverage. The budget adjustments were approved.

Fire Chief Tommy Tate then asked permission to apply for a grant to replace one of the department’s fire engines. The truck to be replaced is 22 years old, Tate said, and has considerable mechanical problems.

“It did not pass pump test today,” Tate told the council, who said the city’s five percent match on a $450,000 truck would be $22,500. Tate said he has $20,000 in his department’s capital budget.

The council gave Tate approval to apply for the grant.

In other matters, the council voted to allow public safety employees to participate in voluntary $5,000 life insurance coverage through the Armed Forces Benefit Association, appointed Aliquippa Allen to the Marengo County Economic Development Authority and heard Grayson report that the city has received a signed contract from Almon Associates for the street paving project.

The Mayor submitted two bids for a keypad system that would provide access to keys to the Civic Center. The council will consider the options at next meeting. A new method of providing keys to renters of the Civic Center is being necessitated by E-911’s relocation from Civic Center to Linden.

Police Chief Reese introduced Officer Shane Bedsole, DPD’s most recent graduate of police academy. Bedsole received the firearms award for his class, Reese noted.

The council re-scheduled its Dec. 5 meeting to Monday, Dec. 2, and moved its Jan. 2 meeting to Jan. 6.