WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — After a late addition to Monday night's meeting agenda, Warner Robins City Council voted on the possibility of giving themselves a raise.
It wasn't the first time this idea has come up at City Hall. Last month, Councilman Clifford Holmes floated the idea of a roughly $5,000 pay raise for councilmembers. He got some pushback for it from some other council members and some members of the public.
However, Monday night, he seemed undeterred as he introduced a resolution to begin the process of raising council's salary.
His argument was largely the same as last time when he said Warner Robins City Council was paid less than some other comparatively-sized (and, in some cases, smaller) cities. He also said Warner Robins council has not gotten a raise in over 20 years. In his view, it's time for one.
Holmes' close-to-$5,000 raise would roughly double Warner Robins council members' current salary of about $5,000.
He admitted some other small town city officials make less than Warner Robins officials, but said he wanted council to move forward with the vote.
When Mayor Randy Toms called for a show of hands, four went up in favor or the pay raise resolution: councilmembers Carolyn Robbins, Daron Lee, Clifford Holmes, and Larry Curtis.
Two councilmembers, Keith Lauritsen and Tim Thomas, voted against it.
"I felt like we've got too many other issues with employees' pay," he said. "Of course, police department is always a victim, but there's not just the police department, it's our public works, it's our utilities. It's so many different issues that I'm worried about, so I'm not willing to do that for myself if I can't provide it for others first."
Holmes acknowledged Thomas' point and said he "respects (his) opinion." However, he also suggested he wasn't backing down. "I said it before and I'll say it again -- sometimes, I have to stand alone for what you believe in," Holmes said. "I have no problem standing alone."
City Attorney Jim Elliott made it clear that Monday night's vote does mean the raise goes into effect yet, but it does kick off the 3-week public notice period required by law before a city council salary can be changed.