Lexington council members have made some budget modifications prior to taking final action over the next couple of weeks. That includes giving employees a one time bonus
Even with tight financial times at city hall, council members expressed interest in giving employees one time bonuses. The modified approach calls for a $500 dollar pay supplement for those making under $50,000 and a stipend equivalent to 1% of the base salary for employees earning more than $50,000.
Mayor Linda Gorton originally recommended senior leadership staff at city hall take an unpaid 12-day furlough. But, she ultimately agreed with council’s decision to eliminate the furlough.
Gorton said original the furlough seemed to be the only way to make the budget work. But, she said, "I think right now the budget can work without it." She added that if the furloughs were require the senior leadership would have been the only city staff to have a pay decrease.
Gorton said requiring the mayor to offer budget recommendations in early April reveals a flaw in the current process. She said she would like to examine alternative schedules.
Lexington council members are also considering last minute requests to make funding adjustments for the fiscal year beginning July 1. They heard from three people this week representing the Explorium, the city’s children’s museum. Former board president Gene Guinn asked that some $41,000 in city money be restored to make up for the cuts Gorton had originally suggested. “We know that we need to raise more money with the Explorium, but the way to keep the Explorium going is not to substantially slash the city support," Guinn said.
Council Budget Committee Chairperson Amanda Mays Bledsoe said representatives of the Explorium were asked to come back in the fall and make their case again. She said more funds could be appropriated then, depending on city finances. Mays Bledsoe does anticipate ending this fiscal year June 30th with a positive fund balance due to jobs held open and restrictions on operating funds.
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