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Proposed Pay Plan Didn't Set Well With Everyone...At First, Now - KOAM TV 7

Proposed Pay Plan Didn't Set Well With Everyone...At First, Now Change Is In The Air

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     We told you last night about the discussions held by city council members in Joplin regarding a new pay plan for city employees.
     It's one that didn't sit well with everyone.
     At least at first.
When asked about budgeting for raises City Finance Director Leslie Haase made a presentation to council, stating the city just doesn't have the money for pay increases for police and fire, or any other department.
But some councilmen, were not happy with that answer.
Taylor Brown, Joplin City Council: "I'm real tired of that being the end of the conversation though, it is our job up here, to set the values and to commission city staff to figure it out."
But Haase says it's more complicated than that.
Haase says there's 27 different funds which act as essentially 27 different businesses, that receive specified funding that can only be spent in a certain way.
TIF districts for example, the funding there can only be spent in the TIF district it's coming from leaving the city to look at other options.
Sam Anselm, Joplin City Manager: "We can look at all of our services and we've done that through priority based budgeting to say, is this a program that is currently offered by other organizations in the community, if is, that raises the question, should the city be in the service, or in that particular business."
Anselm mentioned *possibilities* like transferring memorial hall to a private entity, closing one of the aquatic centers, or even the Schifferdecker Golf Course.
Anselm: "I think these are valuable conversations that we probably that we need to have with the community on the level of service and the type of programs that we offer."
It's that thought process, and the backing of council, that has folks like Shelby Howard with Fraternal Order of Police, fired up.
Shelby Howard, F.O.P. Lodge 27: "There are some things that I would consider to be luxury items that the city offers, when it comes down, what's more important, those luxury items or your employees?"
Anselm says the city council has requested new pay information for comparable communities within two weeks, meaning council could be starting the process of developing a new salary plan within the coming months.
Howard says the officers, and firefighters, finally, have hope.
     The pay plan is still set for a vote at next Tuesday's city council meeting.

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Chris Warner
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A Joplin native, Chris first started in broadcasting at age 16 at KSNF-TV in 2004..

Chris joined the KOAM team in 2017 as an Associate Producer. In April, he moved into a full-time reporter position. He spent time from 2008 to 2016 in various retail roles around the region before returning to his passion at KOAM. Chris is excited to continue telling the stories of the four states. Chris and his wife Amber live in Joplin and have three amazing children.

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