|By Matt Algarin, The Destin Log, Fla.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
Due to additional savings from the district's voluntary separation incentive program, a 3 percent raise/cost of living adjustment has been included in the early budget.
While the line item is not set in stone yet, there was plenty of debate about whether or not the increase should be given or not during the board's
As part of the district's voluntary separation program, seven firefighters agreed to leave the district for a lump sum payment of
"My personal opinion, I think that we just need to put it back in the general fund," he said. "I think it's a bad precedent that we are setting giving a pay raise, when we have (union) negotiations next year. It's something we need to hold off, till it's negotiated."
"I feel completely opposite," she said. "Three percent, for not having a raise in the past five, six years... I would think of it more as a cost of living increase."
Given that personnel have had to take on "extra responsibilities," Anderson said the increase was "well deserved."
As they talked about the pros and cons, the talks kept focusing on "public perception" and how the possible increase would be viewed.
"I can see what the public is going to think" Commissioner
Sasser said it wasn't easy for him to approach the board with the idea, but it was something he thought was warranted given the moral at the station and the hard work the firefighters are putting forth.
"I see it wearing on them, and if the board see fit, I figure we would do something for them," he said.
Commissioners will further discuss the potential cost of living increase, as well as other budget related items during their next budget workshop slated for
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