The Homerville City Council approved the FY2024 budget, including a sizeable raise for the city manager at a called meeting held Friday night at the Homerville Municipal Complex.
At the meeting, three of the four council members were present with council member Jamayla Morehead participating via speaker phone due to being on vacation. City Manager Wallace Mincey presented the proposed budget to the council, who approved it unanimously. Later in the meeting, the council voted to go into executive session to discuss personnel. After an hour-long executive session, the council reconvened the general session, and voted to give Mincey a raise. City officials stated that the actual amount won’t be approved until the next council meeting, but is expected to be between $5,000-$7,000 annually. According to officials, the city manager has to be the highest-paid employee at City Hall. Currently the police chief is the highest-paid employee, making $60,000 annually, while the city manager makes $58,000. Mincey is expected to raise his salary to between $63,000 and $65,000 annually. That will be decided for sure at the next council meeting, according to city officials.
In other action from the called meeting, the council:
• Heard a report from Mincey on the audits. At the last council meeting, Mincey stated that a new accountant was in place and that all they had to do to complete the audits was to enter the information into a spreadsheet file so the accountant could upload it to their system. At the called meeting Friday, Mincey stated that the city hasn’t completed entering the information because “they didn’t know how to enter the information.” Mincey went on to state that City Clerk Samantha Rittenhouse was having trouble finding time to do it while still completing all of her regular day-to-day tasks. Mincey suggested that the council allow him to hire another accountant to come in and assist with the audit prep.
“I agree that we need to do something, but also want to save the city as much money as we possibly can,” said Mayor Brooks Blitch IV. Blitch then suggested trying to get an accounting intern from Valdosta State University to come in and help with the data entry. Blitch also suggested having the accountants that the city currently pays to come in and show Rittenhouse and an intern how to enter the information in so it can be completed as soon as possible.
Council member Elexis Williams said that he didn’t feel like an intern would be “seasoned enough” to complete the job and believed that they should hire somebody like Mincey suggested. Jamayla Morehead added that Georgia Southern University also has a good accounting program and could probably provide an intern as well. Blitch suggested that they table the issue until the next meeting so it can be researched further.
•Approved hiring Matt Bennett from Cook County as Court Solicitor at $375 per month.
•Approved implementing an Employee Recognition Program.
• Tabled purchasing new lawn equipment for the city.
•Went into executive session at 6:36 p.m. to discuss personnel. Jamayla Morehead recused herself due to being in a crowded room and not wanting others to hear what they were discussing.
• Adjourned executive session at 7:30 p.m. and approved the raise for Mincey.
• Approved the minutes from the June regular meeting.
• Approved the agenda.