Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Sheffield Raises? The Midnight Rider Tells It Like It Is

The City of Sheffield and Raises
By: The Midnight Rider
It was reported in the Times Daily today that the employees for the City of Sheffield were going to get a raise. But of course as always there had to be some kind of difficulty about it. Two members of Council voted against this raise. The reasoning was they were not sure of the impact of the raises.
From the Times Daily:
Despite some fiscal concern by the mayor and a councilwoman, city employees will receive a salary increase at the beginning of the year. The Sheffield City Council voted 4-2 to give all full-time city employees a 25-cent per hour raise, beginning with the first pay period in January.”
Okay let’s look at some things about the City of Sheffield. The Police and Fire Department are breeding grounds for new recruits. The City gets them trained and then they leave for a higher paying job. Where is the economic sense behind this?
At least Council Members Steve Nix, Steve Stanley and Ronnie Wicks understand this:
Councilman Steve Stanley said the city can offset some the cost of the raises by refinancing an existing bond issue. Stanley and Councilman Ronnie Wicks said they think higher wages would help attract and retain employees.
‘I'd like to do something to show the employees we appreciate them,’ Wicks said.
Nix said he wanted to get the city's salaries more in line with other Shoals cities to reduce the amount of turnover."
However, Sheffield Mayor Ian Sanford had the following to say:
"’My major concern was our reserves,’ the mayor said. ‘It's shrunk pretty drastically, and it's frightening. We need to build our reserves, in my opinion. I think it's time to save some money. I have no problem with it if we can indeed afford it.’"
Okay, let’s go with what Mayor Sanford had to say. Maybe if the City of Sheffield didn’t have a Librarian who made more than the Police and Firefighters that would save some money. Maybe if we didn’t have a major reconstruction of the Library that would save some money. Sanford has his priorities in the wrong place.  
The City of Sheffield is putting a lot of effort into this Inspiration Landing which we hope goes through. However, that concept and building is far off. Deal with your problems right now. Losing employees to other cities because of money is a problem.
I have recently heard that a well-known business in Downtown Sheffield is considering moving out of Sheffield.  Furthermore, I was not at this council meeting but was told by a reliable source the comment was made from a Council member that “the Police Department was the reason the employees didn’t get a larger raise due to overtime.”
Maybe if Mayor Sanford’s house gets broken into, he can call the Librarian to take the report.
To be continued...
I am and always will be, the midnight rider



We will comment on the librarian issue. We’re assuming she has a degree in her field, quite probably a masters degree. For that she should be compensated adequately; however, it is sad when our first responders aren’t similarly compensated.

Inspiration Landing? We recently blogged on that project. Is there any further word on progress with the first component, the amphitheatre? Let’s hope the curse of Yellow Creek hasn’t struck again. In fact, Sheffield has had so many near misses with projects along its bluff that it deserves its own eponymous curse.

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