Flaggs announces raises for board, employees

Published 3:06 pm Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen and city employees are getting raises effective July 4.

Mayor George Flaggs Jr. announced the raises Thursday at a special called meeting of the board. He said they will be approved at a meeting June 29.

Flaggs and Aldermen Michael Mayfield and Alex Monsour will each receive a 5 percent raise set by city ordinance, while city employees will receive a 3 percent across the board pay increase. The raise for the board members is the last they will receive under the ordinance.

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The boost increases Flaggs’ salary from $98,122.50 to $103,028; the aldermen’s pay will go fromĀ  $78,277.50 to $82,191 each. “You can vote to stop it (the 5 percent raise),” Flaggs told Mayfield and Monsour, but had no takers.

Flaggs, however, said he would not vote for a new ordinance to further increase the board members’ pay.

“I don’t give myself a raise unless I can give everybody a raise,” he said.

Besides announcing the raises, Flaggs said he wants to reduce the city’s work force from 550 to 440 employees through job consolidation and attrition, adding, “If someone retires, we won’t fill that position.

“I believe we can get 40 (employees) off the rolls this year,” he said. “Eight are coming off today by (privatizing) wastewater treatment. This city cannot afford to have as many employees as we’ve got. It’s costing us in our health care and some other things. We can be able to give raises to our employees every year if we conduct ourselves and work accordingly.

“The city of Ridgeland has 29,000 people and only 240 employees. We can get there; I have every intention of getting there. The good news is I’m not firing nobody. I’m not laying off nobody, I’m not furloughing nobody. I’m not going to cut jobs; we’re just not going to add jobs.”

Flaggs said he will be looking at ways to consolidate jobs in all city departments as a way to reduce the work force.

“We’re going to run the city as a business,” he said. “It’s a business; it’s your business and we’re going to run it like that.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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