BY GENA HUFF, Editor
At the Reform City Council meeting Sept. 18, councilmembers discussed the upcoming budget for the new 2019 fiscal year. One of the main topics was a raise for all city employees. Although all members were in favor of a raise, there was some contention as to the percentage of the raise.
“Personally, as mayor,” said Mayor Bennie Harton, “I feel bad because my first years as mayor, we weren’t able to give employees any raise. And we are just now getting to the point where we can give a raise to the employees and I think it is well deserved.”
Councilman Charlie Taggart was in favor of a raise as well. Usually reserved during meetings, Taggart was quite outspoken regarding the raise for all city employees. “For my vote, yes, I am inclined that we should vote employees get a raise,” Taggart said. “Simply because of one reason, more than one reason really. Last year, we were in the same position where we couldn’t do it. We couldn’t afford that seven-point-five percent raise – straight across the board. We are getting new businesses (in the city). We’ve got more than what we were originally getting. How our budget is looking now, looking better than we’ve ever looked. This year, we know we can afford it. We just put $100,000 (in a one-year CD). So that’s telling us we can afford this. Our employees deserve this. So instead of us just going on about it, and those that don’t want it, let’s vote on it.”
“Reform’s main income is from sales tax,” said Harton. “We are going to get the sales tax because local communities shop in Reform. So, we can depend on our sales tax.”
“Now is the time,” said Taggart. “Now, when next year comes, we might not can bring that.”
See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.