UPDATE: Bessemer city leaders pass budget that includes raises for city employees

Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 10:47 PM CST
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BESSEMER, Ala. (WBRC) -Bessemer city leaders finally passed a budget. They’ve been operating without one up until this point in the fiscal year.

The measure passed four to three following a healthy debate at city hall.

Those who voted against the budget questioned the dollar amount of specific line items and some inquired further about the city’s revenue.

“We don’t even know the financial state of the city,” acknowledged Cynthia Donald.  “I propose we take up the raise in a vote tonight and take the budget to planning session.”

The mayor accused those council members of attempting to micromanage the city.

“We can play politics, but you’re hurting the residents of this city. It’s unfair to the citizens of this city. It’s unfair to the employees of this city to sit here and play games,” Mayor Kenneth Gulley said.

Extending pay raises to all employees is one of the few budget items that had unanimous support.  The size of the raise had been a sticking point during previous budget talks. The City council passed a 10% raise for the police and fire department and 5% for other city employees. That number was initially 3% but some city councilors said that number should be 5% given the fact that employees insurance just went up 3%..

We’re told the pay raises will go into effect in two weeks. We’re still waiting to find out the total amount of what those raises will cost the city.

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