Tuesday, January 4, 2005

COUNCIL STAFF RAISES MAY BE IN JEOPARDY

COUNCIL STAFF RAISES MAY BE IN JEOPARDY

Posted By on Tue, Jan 4, 2005 at 4:00 AM

A source familiar with behind-the-scenes deliberations on the Memphis city council says a council majority will act Tuesday to rescind raises for two council staffers rushed through last month by outgoing council chairman Joe Brown and new council chairman Edmund Ford.

The raises -- for staffers Lisa Geater and Pamela Crislip -- were announced to surprised council members by Mayor Willie Herenton at a December 21st meeting of the council's budget committee.

Chief administrator Geater, who also received a new title, staff director, was raised from $87,420 to $99,999, while assistant administrator Crisplip, who would acquire the title of deputy director, went from $57,519 to $75,000.

Other raises of lesser magnitude received by other staffers are also subject to being rescinded, the source said. Returning to status quo ante on the raises would apparently require a change in council rules, which now permit arbitrary action on such matters by the reigning chairman. If a change in the rules is made Tuesday, it would have to be made retroactive to reverse the raises.

News of the raises came amid year-end grumblings concerning a severe revenue shortfall -- one that has occasioned talk of both employee layoffs and a significant tax increase.

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