MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The 2020 budget for Macon-Bibb County is approved. However, commissioners want pay raises for first responders.
Commissioner Mallory Jones says the county is losing more first responders than they’re hiring. He says the number of people leaving the profession increases each month. Commissioners feel that the reason is the pay is not competitive.
“We have a crisis right here in Macon-Bibb County when it comes to crime,” Jones said.
He says the Sheriff’s Office is 135 people short. “The fire department also lost a lot of people,” Jones said.
Jones presented an amendment for $2 million of the fund balances from the 2020 budget. We divided it between the sheriff office and fire departments for salary increases.
“We put money in places it shouldn’t have gone in the budget. So my thought was to have a half-a-million increase. I think the majority of Macon-Bibb County would welcome to restaff our sheriff’s department. So this is an attempt to overcome that objection,” he said.
The recently passed budget called for studies to compare Bibb County employees pay, to other city’s pay. This helps employees to get raises next year. It’s a plan commissioner Elaine Lucas says they need to stick to.
“We’re doing more harm to the plans and work the administration is involved in,” she said.
Commissioner Joe Allen says instead of giving pay raises this year, he likes his idea of $ 1,000-holiday bonuses at the end of the year.
The amendment goes to full-commission next Tuesday.