Peachtree City employees will soon be getting a raise that staff says is long overdue with Thursday night’s approval of a 2.5 percent Cost Of Living Adjustment (COLA).
A two-percent increase for all employees had already been budgeted for FY 2018, but City Manager Jon Rorie recommended an additional .5 percent bump. It would represent a total impact to the FY 2019 budget of $311,393.
Staff did not recommend a COLA in 2015 or 2016. Rorie noted that he would propose another adjustment later for 2019 as part of an incremental process of correcting compensation.
Changing the start time for city council meetings is still on the table. At the January 4 meeting, council will decide whether or not to change the regular meeting time from 7 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Results of an online poll, with 119 votes cast, were inconclusive. Almost 40 percent of respondents said they did not have a preference because they either watch the meetings online or not at all. There was a narrow margin between the two time options, with 7 p.m. slightly ahead.
The meeting kicked off with recognition of outgoing Council Member Kim Learnard’s eight years of service on the dais. Among her many acknowledgements, Learnard thanked local first responders.
“I want to tell you, that in 18 years of living in this community, I’ve never felt unsafe,” she said. “That is a testament to our amazing police, fire, and EMTs.”
She recommended the experience of running for public office and working with the community, joking with the recently re-elected Mayor Vanessa Fleisch.
“Campaigning is stomach-churning, isn’t it Vanessa?”
As part of her farewell, Learnard presented the library with a stack of books with a message of inclusion.
“A community is at its best when every voice is heard,” she said. “We have a responsibility and an opportunity with privilege to make sure everyone is included. I hope you never forget that.”