(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) -- St. Joseph's city council approved $1.7 million of pay raises for employees Tuesday night.
During a special city council meeting, council members voted 8-1 on the package that includes two percent cost-of-living increase for all city employees except for fire personnel, who will get three percent. It also includes an extra 6.5 percent increase for fire and police, which was part of an agreement made last year by the council to help boost those salaries up to a more competitive level with other communities.
Council member Russell Moore is a former St. Joseph fireman and said that crews today deserve everything that they get and more.
"These firefighters today, they get into a lot hotter places than I ever did. They're more energetic and do a lot more medical calls. They run on many, many calls, way beyond whatever I did. I just feel like they deserve greater consideration," Moore said.
Council member Madison Davis cast the lone vote against the pay increase plan. He said his concerns are based on its cost and th efact that there is not enough money in the budget to pay for it.
Other council members said the pay raises were meeting a critical need of supporting fire and police and that it will be the work of the next council to be elected in April to either come up with new revenue or cost cutting to balance the 2022-23 fiscal year budget.