published Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

South Pittsburg sets city administrator pay

By Ryan Lewis/Correspondent

SOUTH PITTSBURG, Tenn. — The new city administrator position will have the highest base salary in South Pittsburg.

“I put enough in the budget to cover the salary, taxes and benefits, so that’s not an issue,” said Mayor Mike Killian. “The highest base salary [in the South Pittsburg city government] is $45,700. We’re trying to make this a starting place.

“I say [the new job] should be phased in to $46,000, which would make it the highest-paid base salary.”

When the state recently announced it was closing its local planning offices to save money, the South Pittsburg City Commission decided to take on a city administrator for the job. In June, the board hired Bently Thomas, who had worked in the area’s state planning office, for the position.

Commissioner Debbie Hughes, who voted against hiring Thomas in June, said there were other city workers who made more than the proposed $46,000 base salary.

“I thought the city recorder made $50,000,” Hughes said.

Killian said that the city recorder did make more, but that was because part of her salary comes from work done for “other agencies.”

“The police chief also makes [over $50,000] because he is doing the fire chief’s job, too,” he said. “I’m just talking about the base salary.”

The board delayed deciding on a base salary for the job because Killian said he wanted to do more “observation” on the salary before settling on an official amount.

Killian recommended that the board start the city administrator’s salary at $40,000, and then have staggered raises over the next six months.

“In three months it would go up to $43,000, and in three more months it would go to $46,000,” he said.

The board unanimously approved Killian’s recommendation.

Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at ryanlewis34@gmail.com.

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