Demopolis to offer up to two percent pay raises

The Demopolis City Council approved an across-the-board pay increase option for city employees during a special called meeting Tuesday afternoon.

City employees will be eligible for a pay increase of up to two percent following an evaluation to take place on the anniversary of their start dates.

“What we’re saying is employees are eligible for two percent raises based on performance reviews,” Demopolis Mayor Mike Grayson said. “(Performance evaluations) will be performed on the employee’s anniversary. It will start in July. That’s why we needed to go ahead and have this meeting today so that department heads can go ahead and be evaluating their employees.”

The motion came in the wake of a finance committee recommendation.

“The finance committee has gotten together and gone through this extensively and we are recommending raises,” City Councilman Bill Meador told his fellow councilmen prior to the vote.

City raises have been frozen since 2008 near the beginning of Grayson’s first term.

“In the past, we would do a one-time pay adjustment that equaled to $1,000. We did that for four years. One year we had a $500 pay adjustment,” Grayson said. The vote to offer the pay increases precludes the city from offering the usual holiday season bonuses.

“The whole basis behind this is we’re putting some teeth into the evaluations. Prior to that we had evaluations but they really didn’t mean anything.,” Grayson said. “Also it goes back to the fact that we believe just doing an across-the-board raise does not really behoove an individual to do their best. We’re striving for excellence.”

The city currently employees a little more than 100 individuals.

“Our greatest asset is our employees and what we’re trying to do is invest back into our employees,” Grayson said. “We will begin the budget process for 2013-2014 next week.”