Meridian, Miss. Meridian's City Council has almost finished putting the budget together for the next fiscal year. They've had to cut budgets in some areas, while raising them in others, and one of the biggest controversies has been the salaries of some department heads that are higher than the ones of the previous administration.
As of right now, all of the department heads the mayor brought on back in July are receiving the salaries that he set for them, but come Tuesday when the council votes on the budget, those numbers could change.
Ward 3 Councilwoman Barbara Henson says, "Each of us had a sheet with their names on it, and we put the amounts that we would like to be considered to be given to the President of the council, and then the clerk of the council gets them and divides it by five,"
The council will receive those averages before Tuesday's meeting, discuss them, and then vote on each department head's salary at the meeting. No matter how that turns out, all full time permanent employees will see a raise in the next fiscal year.
"All permanent full time employees who work 2080 hours per year will be paid $9.00 per hour, or receive a $400 annual raise, whichever is more."
A budget will be passed Tuesday night, although it may not be the current budget the council has laid out. However, Councilwoman Henson feels confident in their proposal.
"I believe it will be passed, and we do have a balanced budget."