East Ridge Approves Employee Bonuses Though Council Told $100,000 Cost Could Throw City Into Deficit

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The East Ridge City Council on Thursday night approved employee bonuses effective in March, though the council was told the $100,000 cost could throw the city into a deficit.

The city last year had a $917,000 surplus, but City Manager Tim Gobble said there have been a number of budget hits this fiscal year. He said he still is hopeful for a surplus of $200,000 to $300,000 by the end of June, though he said there are several uncertainties.

The main one is how the city will fare on a garbage charge that is tacked onto the property tax bill rather than the water bill as before.

Officials said the city is at a $1.8 million deficit at this point, but most of the tax money is yet to come in. There was a $173,000 surplus last month.

Costs are up $250,000 due to insurance and other factors and $150,000 in expected income was lost due to exempting owners of unoccupied lots from paying the garbage fee.

Mr. Gobble said it appears in some cases that mortgage companies are not remitting the garbage fee - just paying the property taxes to the city. 

The motion by Councilman Denny Manning gives $600 bonuses to 117 fulltime employees, $500 bonuses to 25 parttime employees and also includes 14 unpaid reserve officers.

Voting to approve were Council members Manning and Marc Gravitt along with Vice Mayor Jim Bethune. Mayor Brent Lambert and Councilman Larry Sewell were opposed, saying it would have been better to have given any raises at the start of the next fiscal year after it is know about the garbage fee collections.

Councilman Manning said, "We were told that last year." The last city employee raise was in 2011.

City officials said employees were seeing drops in their take-home pay effective this month due to higher individual Social Security amounts and new withholding changes. If the $600 had been stretched over several months as was discussed, the employees might not have noticed the difference, it was stated.

The council held off on any action regarding setting of the agenda. Councilman Gravitt said his intention had been to allow any member of the council to add an item to the agenda - not just the mayor. And he said he wanted to insure that the agenda is posted as early as possible on the city website. 

 

   



Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ADAMS, JAMYRA DESHAE  3307 TAYLOR STREET CHATTANOOGA, 37406  Age at Arrest: 24 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County DOMESTIC ASSAULT --- ATCHLEY, GEORGE FRANKLIN  11127 OLD HOTWATER ROAD SODDY DAISY, 37379  Age at Arrest: 57 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County AGGRAVATED ... (click for more)

School Board Approves Hiring 2 Contract Drivers Who Failed To Disclose Prior Criminal Records

The County School Board voted Thursday night to hire two contract school bus drivers, though they failed to disclose past convictions. Karitsa Jones and Kathy Lennon abstained. Officials said one conviction was 19 years ago and the other 29 years back. Rhonda Thurman said some individuals honestly believe a conviction is off their record based on something they were told. ... (click for more)

September Is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

The calendar fills up quickly in September as families return to a packed routine after quieter summer days. Unfortunately, your health might take a backseat to your busy schedule. So make a note on your calendar that September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, and remind yourself—or the men in your life—about the importance of a healthy prostate.   Prostate cancer is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Am Very Privileged

A “California Kook” who teaches sociology at San Diego State told her students she would give each extra credit if they would participate in a “White Privilege Checklist” the other day. Understand, there is no pass or fail but, the more of the 20 statements you agree with, reveals you are “more guilty” of being white and therefore more “privileged” than those who are not. I had ... (click for more)

Unbeaten Baylor Rolls Past Cleveland For 30th win

The Baylor Lady Red Raiders have produced more than their share of outstanding volleyball teams in head coach Sarah Lail’s tenure, but this year’s team may be the best ever. There are no real superstars like in years past, but they have a talented group of young ladies who can beat you from any number of spots on the court. Facing one of its biggest tests of the season on ... (click for more)

Vols. UMass Matchup Pits 1998 National Champions

Tennessee takes on UMass on Saturday at Neyland Stadium. The game will feature a noon ET kickoff on SEC Network.     Tennessee (2-1) is coming off a 26-20 road loss to Florida on Sept. 16. Junior running back John Kelly set career highs with 141 rushing yards and 96 receiving yards and played a major role in the Vols' second half rally before the Gators ... (click for more)