Drew employee raises fail to pass
by Rory Doyle
Oct 28, 2012 | 1950 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Drew Board of Aldermen held a public hearing Thursday to discuss the city's budget plans.

Citizens gathered to await a decision on Mayor Jeffery Kilpatrick's controversial proposal to raise the salaries of city workers, including those on the board, by five percent.

According to Kilpatrick, the board voted 2-1 in opposition of the raise, but he said a different result might have occurred had all board members been present for the vote.

"I can't say I'm completely disappointed it was shot down because not all the board members were there," said Kilpatrick. "Maybe it will come back up again in the future, and we'll see if it's meant to be."

Vice Mayor Harvey Burchfield, also on the board, was strongly against raising salaries.

"I talked to the mayor and asked him how we could possibly give raises when our city is in debt," said Burchfield. "How could anyone do that?

"I stand on policy and what's right. If you don't balance the budget, the budget will balance you."

Burchfield said city workers should feel blessed to have a job with benefits considering current economic conditions.

Alderman John Smith also voted against the proposal.

"The bottom line is that we just don't have the money," said Smith. "The city has so many other bills to take care of."

Drew aldermen make $150 a month for their service, but Smith said it's about putting the city ahead of him.

"I've always thought people should serve on the board for nothing," said Smith. "It's a position of honor where you help the town.

"I've been in business a lot of years, and I think raises should be rewarded based on performance. Giving raises to everybody is just a 'lazy man' way of doing it."

Burchfield and Smith said they were relieved the proposal was unsuccessful so the city can focus on bigger issues.

"The mayor also discussed some money we'll be able to put toward street repairs, and we're looking forward to making progress in that area," said Smith.