The Salem City Council met for a regularly scheduled meeting Monday night. Under old business, the council unanimously approved an ordinance on second reading adopting the city’s budget for the 2023-24 fiscal year that included some amendments related to employee compensation.
Previously, an extensive pay study for the city was conducted by the Berkley Group. It compared compensation for salaries and hourly wages for city employees against various other localities in the region and commonwealth. As a result of the findings, the council approved a 7% across the board pay increase for all city employees. An additional raise of up to 6.5% was given based on tenure with the city to help with the compression issue in pay. As a result of this, a new pay grade system has been created and all positions have been placed into a new grade. The city has nearly 500 full-time employees.
“We’re a very lucky community to have fantastic people that work for us from every position up through the directors position. I feel great that we’re able to put in a position that we’re equitable to the localities around us. We thank our employees for their extremely hard work over the years to provide our citizens with what they need,” Mayor Renee Turk said.
Councilman Randy Foley added, “People that feel appreciated will do more than expected. We appreciate you and hope you’ll understand what we’ve done for you and you’ll continue to work as hard as you have over the years.”
Also under old business, the council adopted a budget appropriation ordinance on second reading that appropriated funds for the 2023-24 fiscal year.
In new business, several other items were considered:
- A public hearing for an amendment to the zoning ordinance was held for a request by J S Salem LLC and the Trustees Faith Assembly of God for rezoning a property in the 500 block of White Street from RSF Residential Single Family District to CBD Community District. An ordinance on first reading was approved.
- A public hearing was held for a special exception permit that was requested by Joshua Davis, Dallas Scaggs, Jr. and Paul Walrond to allow for a pawn shop on the property of 1617 West Main Street. The request was approved.
- A public hearing for a special exception permit was requested by Terry Steele and Kieu Thi Thuy Do to allow for personal services in the form of a barber shop to be located at 514 West Main Street. The request was approved.