The Hope Town Council scaled back the pay bumps for four managers of town departments, but one council member is fighting for a pay raise for a single employee.

Town Manager J.T. Doane presented a plan for a 3 percent pay raise for Utilities Manager David Clouse, Town Marshal Matt Tallent and the part-time code enforcement officer. The council also considered a 3 percent raise for Doane.

However, the council members opted instead to go for a 2 percent pay increase for all of the managers.

Councilwoman Nellie Meek continued her proposal for a bigger pay raise for Debbie Hatton, the utilities clerk. At last week's council work session, Meek said she thought that Hatton deserved a bigger pay raise than other employees because of her increased work load with the addition of billing for town-wide trash services. Meek did not specify the pay she would suggest for Hatton.

Clerk-Treasurer Diane Burton, who oversees Hatton, said that Hatton already received a big pay raise last year as part of adjustments made to bring pay more in line with the market.

Traditionally, the council has set a pay range for positions, giving leeway to department heads to set salaries for individuals in those range.

At Tuesday's meeting, Meek continued to push for a pay raise for Hatton, saying that under town ordinances and state law the council "and/or" supervisors are responsible for setting employees' compensation.

Other council members said that they were comfortable with continuing to set the range and allowing supervisors to determine individual pay, as they are closest to the employees and know the most about their performance and workload.

Meek said that the council was obligated under the law and ordinance to make those decisions and suggested a special meeting be called to have a phone conference with state officials to explain the law.

In other business, the Town Council:

  • Held off on a plan to appoint new members to board and commissions.

  • Heard a presentation from Doane on last year's property trash ordinance. Doane said about 60 properties had been targeted with the red cards citing violations last year. Two owners have still not cleaned up their property and one is heading for court. Bartholomew County courts found in favor of the town's ordinance last year in the first court case brought under the new law, costing the property owner $2,300.