Kevin Rodolph & Jill Akins

Announcing the interplay that will allow the Town of Pinetop-Lakeside to give town employees a three percent raise, Finance Director Kevin Rodolph couldn’t help but don a smile which proved contagious, spreading to Town Clerk Jill Akins as well as throughout the entire council chambers.

PINETOP-LAKESIDE – You could say that the best news was saved for last at the Oct. 3 council meeting — best for town employees, that is. Just prior to adjournment Finance Director Kevin Rodolph announced that though they had strategized to give town employees a raise when putting together the town budget this year, they were not able to do so. But, thanks to several factors that recently occurred, beginning October 6, a three percent raise will go into effect for town employees.

Rodolph said they had already built into the 2019-2020 budget $102,000 for raises.

“With the passing of the jail tax, Prop 421, Navajo County will stop billing us as of January 1 this year,” said Rodolph.

Prop 421 funds jail operations and eliminated the fees towns paid to house inmates.

“That is a savings of $32,500. With the clerk retiring and the deputy clerk taking the position, there was a difference in salaries. We have chosen not to fill the deputy clerk position … that saved $72,360. With several other items (that occurred), we have $104,860 and the cost for a three percent raise, $98,360, will be covered.”

Town Manager Keith Johnson noted that no action on this item was necessary as mayor and council had voted on this at the time the budget was passed.

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Barbara Bruce is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering arts and entertainment on the Mountain and the Pinetop-Lakeside town government.

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