Dodge City Council

Jason Burney and Mayor Tawana Canada at Thursday night's Dodge City Council meeting.

DODGE CITY — The Dodge City Town Council voted against raising employee salaries for 2020, and also decided to keep the mayor and council members’ pay at the current level. The monthly pay for the town attorney was increased by $25 per month.

Mayor Tawana Canada recommended the pay raise for town attorney Hugh Harris. “He’s worked for the last three years for $325,” she said. The voted unanimously passed to increase his pay to $350 per month.

The mayor was the lone vote against maintaining the three employees’ salaries at the same rate as last year. In 2019 they received a 5 percent increase, which seemed to factor in to the council’s decision.

The council was unanimous in keeping the pay for council members at $150 per meeting and $25 for special meetings. Mayor Tawana Canada abstained from the vote on keeping the mayor’s pay at $24,865.20 per year.

Councilman Ervin Chumley commented, “I think the mayor needs a raise,” but voted to keep the salary at the same level.

Had they increased the council members’ or mayor’s salaries, the change would not go into effect until after the next municipal election.

They also briefly discussed providing health insurance for the mayor’s position before agreeing that the person in that position should be offered insurance. “I really think it should be paid,” said Canada, who abstained from voting.

In other business, the council:

Adopted a Human Trafficking proclamation in recognition of January as Human Trafficking Awareness Month.

Went into executive session to discuss possible sewage contamination. They came out of the closed meeting and voted to table taking any action until they have received more information. Canada said the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) will be in town Monday to assess the situation, so the council is holding off taking any action until they receive that report.

The mayor also reported that three people were recently arrested on drug charges at a local convenience store. “We’re glad to get them out of our way,” she said.

Amy Henderson can be reached at 256-734-2131 Ext. 116.

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