Trinity passes contentious budget
By Tony Farkas
TRINITY — The Trinity City Council approved a budget that includes a 5 percent raise for employees, but not without pushback from council members.
At a meeting on Thursday, the council approved a budget with general fund expenditures of $3,854,750. Additionally, the council approved a tax rate that is exactly the same as last year’s, $0.6138 per $100 valuation.
State accountant and City Council Member Clegg DeWalt said he looked over both versions of the budget, but budgets do not guarantee the availability of funds.
He in particular questioned a “$120,000 hole in our bucket” regarding income from selling water to other county entities.
“If we pass this budget with pay raises, and the money doesn’t materialize, what will we do to cover those pay raises?” he asked.
Council Member Bubba Smith said the city will end up going into debt. He also said that a blanket raise of 5 percent did not seem fair.
“Why does (a police officer) that has been here 6 years get the same raise as Joe Blow who has been here 6 weeks?” Smith asked. “Some employees are not up to par, and do not deserve the same raise as other. What’s the point of me giving 100 percent when my coworker gives 30 percent and gets the same raise?”
Smith said there needed to be an evaluation process that would determine raises, and that the council should be able to see employee evaluations on a monthly basis.
Mayor Wayne Huffman said that the city employees deserve a raise.
Smith also pointed out that since the city has reserved 100 percent of the water supplied by the Trinity River Authority, it was an extra $9,000 per month of expense to Trinity.
“We can’t just keep on the way we’re going, we have to figure this out,” he said. “I want the record to show that we’re going to come in here and loot the budget. That’s great, but next year, I’d like to see evaluations of our employees.”
Both Smith and Mayor Pro Tem Billy Goodin voted against approving the budget.
Following the meeting, Huffman and audience members held a heated conversation regarding the use and administration of grants.
In other business, the city:
- approved the tax roll provided by Trinity County Appraisal District;
- approved the interest and sinking funds for debts for the coming fiscal year;
- approved deposit requirements for retiring city debts; and
- approved the holiday schedule for the coming fiscal year.
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This commment is unpublished.· 1 years agoBring in more businesses and provide people jobs and more shopping options.The old Alco building would make a great Dollar Tree and Brookshires could use a little competition by bring in HEB. A Walmart would be good also. We have enough Mexican Food Restaurants.