Pelham working to enact new pay plan before April 1

 By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

Pelham City Council member Maurice Mercer said the council should have “no problem” enacting a new Pelham employee pay plan before April 1 after the council discussed the matter with Mayor Gary Waters during a Feb. 18 pre-meeting work session.

During the work session, Waters told the council members he is planning to re-present a proposed new city employee pay plan to the city’s Personnel Board during a Feb. 19 meeting to allow Personnel Board member Bobby Hayes to learn more about the plan.

Waters previously presented the proposed pay plan to the Personnel Board on Jan. 23, but Hayes did not attend the meeting because of health reasons. The Personnel Board voted to approve the plan during the January meeting.

“He (Hayes) was out the first time I presented it to the Personnel Board, and he wanted a chance to review it. I think that’s only fair,” Waters said. “It’s not really a time-sensitive issue at this point. It will go before the City Council at some point in the future.”

Pelham currently is operating under the Mercer pay plan – a plan Waters said violates the city’s civil service law. Maurice Mercer has no relation to the Mercer pay plan.

The City Council previously voted to extend the Mercer plan through April 1 to give council members a chance to review the proposed new pay plan.

“I think we should still be alright for that original date in April (to enact a new pay plan),” Mercer said on Feb. 19.

Waters previously said he will not present a city budget for the council’s consideration until a new pay plan is enacted, as about 45 percent of the city’s budget is tied to salaries and benefits.

In other business during its Feb. 18 meeting, the council also voted to establish a Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to replace the Pelham Recreation Board.

Mercer said Alabama law outlined the duties and responsibilities of the previous recreation board, and said the new advisory board is “more in-line” with the entity’s operations.

“The new resolution is in line with how they’ve always operated,” Mercer said, noting the board will provide input to the city on parks and recreation matters.

The council appointed Michael Helms, Danny Barry, Caitlin Barker, Diane Morris and Rosemary Metcalf to the advisory board. The five members will serve staggered terms.