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What is wrong with pay raise plan?

We know there are two sides to every story. We also know that the way one person perceives a statement is very likely quite different than the way someone else will perceive the very same statement.

That is why it is so interesting to see the public reaction to the news that Mayor George Flaggs Jr. is considering requesting an across-the-board pay raise for city employees.

When given the qualifications of the proposal, it is a wonder why anyone would think such an idea would be a bad idea. But, nevertheless, there are those who think such a plan is without merit, wasteful and greedy.

Let’s review the plan.

According to Flaggs, if the numbers work out, the across-the-board pay raise would be scaled to where those who earn the least right now, would earn the greatest share of the raise. Those who earn more would receive less of a percentage increase than those who earn less.

Ok, that sounds fair. Right?

Also, this would be done without raising taxes to pay for it. Again, good idea. Right?

And, the plan would keep in place a hiring freeze the city has had in place for quite some time. Again, a good idea? Right?

To top it off, the pay raise would only be proposed if doing so would keep the city’s budget to no more than 97 percent of previous year’s funding levels.

So let’s see if we have this right.

The hard working public servants who work for the city of Vicksburg would get a well-deserved pay raise.

The pay raise would not be paid on the backs of Vicksburg taxpayers, but through an ongoing budget surplus.

And, it would be provided to employees while keeping the number of city employees much lower than in previous administrations.

You can call Mayor Flaggs a number of things, some of which are likely justified. But, you can never, nor will you likely ever, call him someone who overspends or is foolish in the use of taxpayer funds.

The city has operated with smaller budgets, smaller staffs and been tremendously responsible with the money provided by its citizens.

If Mayor Flaggs and the Board of Mayor and Aldermen are able to provide the employees this raise with those qualifications, then we applaud the move and say congratulations to all of those involved.