A majority of City Council members said Tuesday afternoon they are not satisfied with the administration's pay proposal that gives a three percent across-the-board increase to general employees and $1.3 million to the police department for raises.
At a finance committee meeting, a poll was taken of council positions on the plan. There was a 4-4 tie that was broken by Carol Berz, who heads the panel. She said she would like to see "some middle ground" on various pay proposals.
Daisy Madison, finance director, and Dan Johnson, the mayor's chief of staff, argued for keeping the current proposal costing $2.
9 million plus the $1.3 million for police.
They said the buik of the across-the-board money, plus longevity pay for some, was going to those on the lower end of the scale.
The officials said there had been special appropriations to the police department one year and then to the fire department the next toward their career ladder programs.
Ms. Madison said she was not being unfair to any department with her recommendations.
She said she had studied the police career ladder pay plan and "I had no idea how expensive that plan is" considering pensions and other ramificiations.
Police Chief Bobby Dodd said the plan was "the mayor's plan."
He said the department welcomes the $1.3 million toward career ladder, but he said it would provide no increase to many members of the department.
Councilman Peter Murphy recommended extending the across-the-board to all employees, including fire and police, though it would bring the percentage below three percent.
Councilwoman Pam Ladd said the city has "no performance measurement tool, which is horrible" for giving raises based on merit.
Councilman Jack Benson said he is opposed to merit pay systems, saying the Master Teacher Plan by Gov. Lamar Alexander was "the biggest failure to ever hit this state."