Pay raises for APD/AFD shot down - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Pay raises for APD/AFD shot down

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October 5, 2004

Albany - In a close four to three vote, city commissioners voted against a $1,400 raise for Albany police officers and firefighters. Pay raise talks were put on hold last month because of all the problems in the Albany Police Department.

But now, with the Chief gone and several other officers fired, it appears officers still won't get raises right now.

At a work session Tuesday, Albany commissioners agreed that city police and firefighters are underpaid, but they didn't agree on when a pay raise should come. "I'm not voting for a pay raises for anybody until the next budget year," said Commissioner Bo Dorough during the meeting.

Commissioners Bo Dorough, John Howard, Arthur Williams and Bob Langstaff voted down the proposed raise for all sworn public safety officers. They argued the City doesn't have the $623,000 it would take to follow through with the raises.

"Until we find the money, it's just a hollow promise," said Commissioner Bob Langstaff. "What we have to do is go back and look at the budget and make cuts that we can stomach, before we'll be able to give the pay raises."

But, commissioners Henry Mathis, Tommy Postell, and Mayor Willie Adams wanted to pass the raise and then find the money in the budget to cover it. Fighting for better pay for public safety employees was one of the Mayor's campaign promises. He says the raises will come in time.

"We just need to get a few commissioners on board by finding the money in the budget somewhere. But, I don't think this fight isn't over."

Commissioners began considering a public safety pay raise more than a year ago, in August 2003. They suggested allocating the money into this year's budget, but that budget was passed without the raises. Now, commissioners are once shoving back the promise of better pay for police and firefighters for another year.

All city employees received $600 raises this year. Right now, the Albany Police Department has about 25 vacancies.

Posted at 4:38PM by kathryn.murchison@walb.com