Growth in Grovetown is bringing up a conversation about increasing the mayor’s salary. The city considering a plan to pay the mayor more money and make the position full time.
The proposal would make the mayor seat a full-time, $65,000 a year position. Currently, the position is part-time and pays around $12,000 annually.
Council members’ formal discussions start on May 13, but like many topics in our digital age the conversation has already started on social media. A post on the Facebook Group “Grovetown Political Forum” of the public notice for a plan to discuss a pay raise for the mayor has more than 100 comments.
CA Bargeron is an admin for the Facebook Group and shared his opinions with NewsChannel 6.
“This is about our mayor, whoever it may be because in just a few months, Gary could lose that position,” he said.
Mayor Gary Jones who is up for re-election this November, responded to some of the comments on the post about the mayor’s potential raise. He writes, “It is a part time position at approx. $12,000 annually. Mayor Jones tells NewsChannel 6, he cannot do the job he was elected to do effectively, part time for that pay and Bargeron agrees.
“If you look at everything he’s had to deal with so far, and the things that he’s continuing to have to deal with– especially with our growth, the clean up of the malfeasance before, re-establishing the relationships so that we can get our grants and everything. You can’t list yourself as having a part time mayor and expect him to be available full time for part time money. You just can’t do it, it’s not fair,” Bargeron says.
Critics argue Grovetown does not need both a full time City Administrator and a full time mayor. Some want to see the question show up on a ballot for the citizens to vote.
“Everybody has a point,” Bargeron says. “But we need an elected official full time in city hall that’s answerable to the voters not a salaried employee who doesn’t have to worry about what we think because the track record here in Grovetown is– trust is not a really big thing here and you can’t blame us for that.”
Bargeron is referring to the employee theft and fraud that Administrator John Waller highlights also. Waller says the city has at or above 15,000 people with projections to increase between 600 and 800 each year for the next several years.
“We need to have this conversation,” Bargeron says. “This is a process. It’s going to go on for a while. this is a situation that’s been building for years and you have to take everything into consideration when you’re making decisions. We need to have this conversation.
If adopted, the change will take effect January 1, 2020. The council’s formal discussions on the topic start during their regular meeting time, May 13th at 6:30P.
If you want to join the conversation before then head to our WJBF Facebook page.