Some decisions made behind closed doors by the former Richmond City Council are starting to come to light despite more confusion from City Hall.
City Administrator Rick Childers on Friday continued to say that city employees were given a five percent pay increase across the board in this year’s budget, however city payroll reports obtained from the city show otherwise.
Wastewater Superintendent C.E. Goodall received about a 22 percent increase in pay. A handful of others in the Public Works Department also received pay increases that exceeded five percent. Two other employees in that department received raises exceeding 11 percent. Parks Superintendent Terry Dickey received nearly 8 percent.
In the April newsletter of the Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce, Goodall is identified as the city’s Public Works Director. Childers said on Friday that Goodall is not the Public Works Director and received the increase because of an increase in workload. He also said Goodall deserved more.
Childers said the pay increase was in the budget, and Councilman Dave Powell said the specific increase for Goodall was approved in January or February but was never publicly disclosed. Childers said he “didn’t think about it,” when asked why the decision was not made public.
During a city council meeting last month, Childers was given an opportunity to specifically answer that question when former Mayor Ed Lee Swafford asked him.
Childers along with Councilman Jason Berning disagreed with Swafford much to the liking of the crowd in the audience that night made up predominantly of city employees.
Former Councilman Jim Rippy scolded Childers on Friday and demanded an apology to Swafford.
“I was embarrassed for him by the way you all treated him,” Rippy said. He said if I’m wrong I’ll apologize. It is up to you to apologize to him because what he stated was true and what you stated is not true. You misled him and you misled everybody here. You owe him an apology and if you’re not man enough to do it, then you have a problem.”
Councilwoman Terrie Stanley agreed with Rippy.
“Technically he was right and he was hurt and embarrassed by city employees,” she said.
Childers after being asked three times by The Daily News about the situation responded by saying he didn’t agree with the facts presented and later said he didn’t understand the question and referred The Daily News to City Attorney Brian Hall.
Childers stuck to his stance that a five percent increase was given across the board. Records show that some employees received anywhere from four to 4.9 percent increases in pay. A handful of employees did not receive any raise.