Bray: No holiday bonuses for city workers this year
by Briana Webster
Dec 13, 2013 | 1776 views | 0 0 comments | 42 42 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CARBON HILL — Mayor Pro Tem James “Jimbo” Bray Jr. led Thursday night’s city council meeting without a hitch.

Mayor James “Pee Wee” Richardson and District 5 council member James Pendley were absent from the meeting due to health-related issues, Bray said.

After approving the minutes from last week’s meeting, the council heard from the different departments. Shortly after, council members went into a 10-minute executive session to discuss police and city business. Upon their return, Bray mentioned Christmas bonuses for full-time city employees.

“Earlier I sent an email out to the league of municipalities. We’re going to try and get a ham for Christmas for all employees, and I just wanted to make sure it was OK before we do that. So, we sent them an email and whether or not, they’re replying tomorrow, if we can or can’t. I don’t know,” Bray said.

The city’s magistrate/city clerk Kim Sides then read an email she had received on her phone, “That is a no. Section 94 of the constitution [of Alabama] would prohibit using public funds for this purpose.”

Bray replied with, “That is a no then. They’ve done emailed back.” 

Before adjourning, co-assistant fire chief Phillip Howard made a suggestion about the council looking into longevity pay for next year’s Christmas bonuses for the city’s employees. “When I was in office, I put in longevity pay. We did longevity pay as a Christmas gift to the employees. It’s not guaranteed that you’ve got to pay it. If you don’t have the money, you can’t pay it,” Howard said. “But, we would look at our finances in November, if we had the money — I think we were up to maybe $20 a year or something like that — we’d sit down and figure out, ‘Hey, we got X amount of dollars and we pay this much to each employee for the number of years of service.’ It gives the employees something.

“ ... We did it for four straight years. I thought it worked good, why it stopped? Santa Claus only knows.” 

It is too late this year to look into giving the bonuses through longevity pay, so Bray said they would discuss it at the next meeting to be held in January.

In other business, the council: 

•heard from Police Chief Ron Colburn, who said the department was running “great.” All of the police cars are up and running. He was pleased to hear about the hiring of new police officer Tim Walter as a full-time officer for the department.

District 3 council member Terry Mason said, “We had an interview with him [Walter]. He’s highly qualified. He’s a very upstanding young man; he’s very punctual. He’s very polite. He’s gone to several, several schools, a very good-looking young man. I think he’d be a good addition to our police department.” 

•heard from Bray that the street department is working on Christmas lights, putting up flags and working on the baseball fields. James Shedd, a street department employee, had a chainsaw accident while cutting a tree earlier Thursday. Supposedly, according to city officials present at the meeting, Shedd cut his wrist through to the bone. He is scheduled to have surgery today.

•spoke about Christmas in the Hills, which will start at 10 a.m. Saturday and have games, activities and vendors set up in the community center until 4 p.m. The parade will begin at 6 p.m. and will be followed with an auction at 7 p.m. in the community center. All proceeds from Saturday will go to Toys for Tots.

Anita Wood, who oversees the event, said she is needing all the help she can get.

“I would like for the citizens of Carbon Hill to come together and us try to buy 10 bicycles to give away during the parade like Jasper does. I know 10 is not many, but it’s a start,” Wood said. “I checked on prices yesterday. They range from $29 to $69, but I think that would be a good thing for Carbon Hill. It would show that we’re trying to do good things, but we’re going to have to get some help buying those bicycles.”

Before the meeting ended, Wood said she had $200 for the bicycles so far, but they need to raise approximately $500 in order to accumulate enough money for all 10.

District 1 council member Sandra Garrison asked Wood about looking into possibly purchasing a few tricycles for the younger children.

For more information about Christmas in the Hills, call Wood at (205) 275-8475 or Janice Pendley at (205) 924-9961.