Original article here.
Members of the Meridian Fire Department took to the podium at Tuesday night’s city council meeting to voice frustrations they have over an $8,000 pay raise given to Clerk of Council Pam McInnis.
“You have told us for years that cannot afford to create pay raises because you can’t do for one department what you can’t do for them all,” MFD Deputy Chief Sammy Foy says.
“I do not understand how you can justify a large pay raise for one person that already makes above state average for the position,” MFD employee David Fason says. “Yet deny for state employees well behind the state average.”
But city council members say McInnis’ raise was long overdue given her 24 years of service to the city and the fact that she has not been given a raise in nearly a decade. Council members also point out that McInnis has five different bosses that she reports to, meaning each of the city council members.
“But you can notice she’s very knowledgeable about everything that is involved,” council member Jesse Palmer, Sr. says. “And if you can pay some of the heads of your department $65,000 and $70,000, why can’t you pay her $50,000?”
Despite this salary controversy, city council members tell us they are thrilled to finally be in their new home and that they no longer have to deal with the problems they faced when holding meeting across the street at the police station. Council President Barbara Henson says she only has one issue with the new set up.
“That the council president cannot see the other council members during the meeting because they are seated with their sides to the center,” Henson explains. “Instead of being winged out on one side as we have been over at the police station. But it’ll work out okay. Everybody’s in a good mood and looking forward to it.”
Henson will continue to serve as president of the council until June 30th. Councilman George Thomas will then take over.