Duluth increases pay for some city employees

DULUTH - The pay for 15 jobs will go up effective July 1 to keep the city government competitive by maintaining fair salaries for employees and to avoid large increases in any one year, officials said.

"This way, we will remain more competitive with general cities in our area," said council member Jim Dugan, who presented the plan.

The proposal also changes five job title names and increases the number of steps on the city's pay grade chart from 41 to 45.

The 2007 administrative classification schedule and pay plan study was conducted by Human Resources Manager Ed Johnson and reviewed by the Executive Pay Committee and the Capital Reserve and Retirement Benefits Investment Committee.

The council met in regular session on Monday.

The total amount involved in the salary increases is $14,243, 0.16 percent of the city's total budget. The costs will be figured into the fiscal 2008 budget, Dugan said.

In a related move, the City Council also approved jumping the pay grade for the city administrator from grade 36 to 41 to raise that position one step above that of the municipal court judge.

The pay of City Administrator Phil McLemore already is above that of the judge, Dugan said.

In another move, the panel approved a contingency request of $51,000 to cover costs of electric service for the new Public Safety Building on Davenport Road and Buford Highway, now in its first full year of operation. The total amount of electric service is $101,000, according to council records.

In other business, the council:

•Amended the tattoo and body piercing ordinance to conform to the rules of the Gwinnett County Health Department.

•Waived all fees for the annual Easter egg hunt to be held March 31 by the Foster Children's Organization at W.P. Jones Park.

•Approved an increase from $23.50 to $26 for a box of bags for solid waste services beginning April 1 and announced that the price for senior adults would remain the same at $13.

•Changed the practice of giving employees their birthday as an additional holiday by listing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official holiday. Until now, employees were given three floating holidays plus their birthday.

•Accepted a $1,000 donation from Thomas J. Andersen of the Andersen, Tate and Carr law firm, for the Living Memorial to be built next to Duluth's new City Hall this year.

•Amended the current budget by transferring $43,142 to pay for two separate accidents in which two police vehicles were totaled.