JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A heated discussion over proposed pay raises for elected officials in Jonesboro took place during a city council meeting Tuesday.
Members of the council were seemingly divided on the issue, that would give the mayor, city clerk, city attorney, and 12 members of the city council a 6% pay raise.
At their last meeting, the council voted to amend the ordinance, taking away the clause that would make the raises retroactive to Jan. 1, 2017.
The ordinance was slated to be read for the final time on Oct. 3 but due to that amendment, the ordinance remained on its second of third readings.
Alderman Joe Hafner suggested they table the issue indefinitely because he felt the city had more pressing monetary issues than giving elected officials pay raises. He said approving the raises before those issues are addressed would send the wrong message to the citizens of Jonesboro.
Ultimately, the council decided against tabling the ordinance. Instead, they plan to vote on the issue during its third and final reading on Oct. 17.
The issue first went before the full city council in September.
During a meeting on Sept. 19, one resident stated he would rather see the citizens vote in a special election for the mayor, city attorney, city clerk and council members to get those 6% raises.
He said he doesn't think it is proper for the council to vote on their own pay increases.
Councilman David McClain, who has voiced his concerns before, said he agrees. He added that he feels there are more pressing issues they should focus on rather than raises.
McClain added that if this has to move on to the third reading, he would like to see the ordinance amended to remove the clause stating the raise will be retroactive to January.
The council unanimously agreed and motioned the ordinance to be at its third reading in the next city council meeting scheduled for the first week of October.
Also discussed during the Sept. 19 meeting were guidelines for apartment complexes.
Darrel Smith, the city planner, said the guidelines help envision what Jonesboro will look like as it continues to grow.
Mayor Harold Perrin said he asked Smith to look into it to ensure apartment complexes in Jonesboro still look good three to four years after they're built.
Perrin asked in Tuesday night's council meeting that Smith looks at reviewing maintenance guidelines for duplexes and triplexes.
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