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 Council Eyes Major Pay Hikes for Employees

November 28, 2007 - The Knightstown Town Council voted at its November 21 meeting in favor of giving most town employees four-percent raises for 2008, and salary increases of 13 and nearly 60 percent, respectively, for the town's utility bookkeeper and the town's clerk-treasurer.

Council member Valerie Trump, who worked with Clerk-Treasurer Judy Haines to come up with the proposed pay schedule for 2008, said consideration had been given to the fact that most town employees did not receive raises last year. She also said the town's current financial condition and that projected for 2008 were looked at, as were pay levels in other communities of comparable size.

Under the new salary ordinance, Works Manager Mel Matlock would remain the town's highest paid employee, with a salary of $52,800, up from $50,750. The pay for Linda Glenn, the town's utility bookkeeper and assistant office manager, would rise 13 percent under the new salary ordinance, from $30,000 to $34,000, making her pay the same as the town court department head's pay.

Haines would receive the largest pay increase under the new salary ordinance. Trump said the $20,037 now paid to the town's clerk-treasurer is based on a 20-hour work week. She said Haines works much more than 20 hours and recommended Haines' salary be based on 30 hours a week and raised to $32,000, a move Trump said would also help attract qualified candidates in the future. Unlike town employees' pay, which can always be reduced if the town's finances require it, current state law prohibits the pay of elected officials like Haines from ever being lowered once raised.

The new salary ordinance includes a leave policy for all full-time salaried employees, and also provides all full-time town employees with the same 14 paid holidays that state employees receive: New Year's Day (Jan. 1); Martin Luther King, Jr., Day (Jan. 21); Good Friday (Mar. 21); Primary Election Day (May 6); Memorial Day (May 26); Independence Day (July 4); Labor Day (Sept. 1); Columbus Day (Oct. 13); General Election Day (Nov. 4); Veterans Day (Nov. 11); Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27); Lincoln's Birthday (Nov. 28); Christmas Day (Dec. 25); and Washington's Birthday (Dec. 26).

Even though his wife, Linda, stands to receive a $4,000 raise that will directly benefit his family's household finances, Council President David Glenn opted not to abstain when it came time to vote on the new salary ordinance. Instead, saying he "votes on salaries all the time," he joined the other four council members in voting in favor of the new pay schedule, which Haines said will need to be passed twice more before taking effect.

In other personnel matters, the council approved a request from town court department head Earlene Carter for unpaid medical leave through the end of December. The council also voted to allow court employee Lisa Cox, to roll her accumulated vacation time over to 2008. In a letter to the council, Town Court Judge Hayden Butler, Cox's father, said his daughter would be unable to use her vacation time prior to the end of the year due to Carter's medical leave.

The council also accepted performance evaluations recently completed for town employees, and Trump said all employees rated very good or excellent. Acting on Matlock's recommendation, the council said its consensus was that Tim Hollis and Rick Hall be promoted from Lineman 3 classification to Lineman 2.


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