Mayor changes position on pay increases - KLFY News 10

Mayor changes position on pay increases

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At the New Iberia Municipal Civil Service Board meeting last Tuesday, Mayor Hilda Curry nixed annual cost of living pay increases for all city employees, except at the fire department.

"It's not something you want to do, but I would prefer to eliminate the CPI increase and not have to do more layoffs, if possible," Mayor Hilda Curry. She said with a looming $1 million deficit at the end of this fiscal year in October, it wasn't possible; until three days later.

"Late Friday afternoon Mayor Curry called me to inform me that she had changed her position," says Craig Colwart, the chairman of the Civil Service Board. Colwart says the mayor, who was unavailable for comment as of Monday afternoon, had a change of mind after speaking with employees.

"She now recommended that just the classified municipal employees be given their 2 percent cost of living increase," says Colwart.

Colwart says the mayor plans on pulling between $55,000 and $60,000 from the city's disaster fund, if the board and city council approve the increases.

"I think they would deserve it and at budget time we would try to find a way to find the 2 percent," says Mayor Pro Tem Dan Doerle.

Doerle says he will look at the entire budget to support the increases, and City Council Member Natalie Robin announced at that meeting last week that she was willing to make sacrifices.

"If they don't get it, I'll be working towards putting a resolution to literally wave car allowances full for council members," says Robin. She says getting rid of council travel expenses is still on the table, even if they can't find money for it in the budget.

"If we all voluntarily donated that money to Civil Service it would at least cover a 1 percent increase," says Robin.

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