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Slight increase in city salaries slated

In the city budget for 2014 approved during last week’s City Council meeting, salaries were approved for the next year and in most cases identify city employees with the most responsibility or the most employees reporting to them.

As in the past both the police chief and the fire chief have the highest salaries budgeted at $88,328, up from $87,023. Sam Williams, longtime popular police chief and a veteran of decades of service as a Captain with the Little Rock Police Department before he came to Maumelle at the turn of the millennium ranks at the highest paid city non elected employee. The department also has three captain positions, two of which are budgeted at $72,597 themselves and a third at $63,247 for the upcoming year.

Salaries for the entire Maumelle Police Department total $1,765,511 budgeted for 2014 with a total of $2,476,059 when benefits are added. The budgeted total includes $52,704 in Holiday pay when officers are required to work on normal holidays. Another $20,000 is set aside as court pay to compensate officers when they are required to appear in court other than normal duty time to testify in cases. Another $10,000 is set up for unexpected overtime.

Williams manages a $2.9 million dollar operating budget for the year 2014 on top of the $2.4 million personnel budget or $5.3 million total.

Maumelle’s Fire Chief slot is budgeted for 2014 at $89,416. With former Chief George Glenn getting paid until the end of the year, Chief John Payne is the interim Fire Chief and the position is being advertised to be filled sometime in 2014. Payne’s Fire Marshal position is budgeted for next year at $68,457. Another division training chief’s slot has $58,434 budgeted but there are five Captain positions that vary from $50,426 to $58,936 in salary set for next year.

Overall budget for the fire department includes a $2.2 million operating budget with a $1.3 million personnel expense or a total of $3.5 million.

Mayor Mike Watson’s slot is budgeted the same as this year, $78,500.

City Council members’ salary also stays the same at $6,000 a year.

City Clerk Joshua Clausen’s elected position also is set to remain the same at $56,000.

Maumelle’s finance director, Tasha Thompson will see an increase in 2014 to $66,107 from this year’s $65,615.

Human Resources director Vernon James is slated for a slight increase next year from $71,679 to $72,933.

JaNan Davis, the elected City Attorney has her basic salary set the same as it has been for years, $12,000 plus the additional legal services she provides the city saw a reduction from $35,000 this year to $30,000 in 2014. Her position also includes additional legal work sometimes required for lawsuits and other legal duties as prosecutor in Maumelle District Court for which $65,000 is budgeted.

Maumelle District Court Judge Roger Harrod’s salary will be the same as it is this year, $36,000.

Maumelle Animal Control budget includes a supervisor at $49,166 up from $49,054 this year. Some supporters of Maumelle Friends of the Animals had complained early in the budgeting process that the supervisor’s position was underpaid compared with other departments. However a survey of similar positions around the state showed that Maumelle’s top animal control officer’s salary is among the highest paid in the state for any size city. Supporters are wanted the Animal Control Division to be a separate city department rather than a division within the Public works Department where it currently is and where it will stay for next year.

Public Works Director Robert Cogdell has a 2014 salary budgeted at $83,869 up from $82,427. He supervises a department with an operating budget reduced by $100,000 for next year at $763,918 on top of $543,458 in salary and benefits.

Parks and Recreation Director Phillip Raborn has an increase scheduled from $73,817 for this year’s salary to $75,847 for next year’s salary.

Maumelle’s popular Senior Services director Nicole Heaps is slated for a salary increase from $60,625 to $61,989.

The city’s Community and Economic director Judy Keller’s job currently receives $73,813 this year with $73,982 budgeted for 2014.

Jim Narey, director of Planning and Zoning has a 2013 salary of $73,617 and its budgeted to increase to $75,847 for next year.

Code Enforcement director Jim Morley will see his salary increase from $60,625 to $61,837 next year.

The salaries were hashed out during numerous budget meetings the City Council and selected officials participated in over a several month schedule. While open to the public, very few non-city employees ever show up at the meetings held in the Blue Room.

During the council meeting last week when the budget was approved, there was very little discussion about the budget.

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