City of Joplin staff will see a nine percent pay increase beginning November 1, 2020 after the Joplin City Council passed two emergency ordinances including a new step pay plan. The step pay plan is in reference to the City Salary Administration Plan and will be applied to certain classified, unclassified, and part-time/seasonal positions for Fiscal Year 2020-2021.
The new step pay plan was passed in two ordinances with the fire department as its own separate ordinance due to Councilman Chuck Copple’s conflict of interest, causing Copple to abstain. The first ordinance passed with nine in favor and the second passed with eight in favor and one abstention. The Salary Adjustment Plan is an across-the-board wage adjustment, including current employees, who will receive the corresponding wage increase on November 1. This wage adjustment is included in the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. Leslie Haase, finance director, presented the two ordinances to the council. Haase explained that the step pay plan was presented after a recent study the city conducted on implementing the plan in order to address recruitment and retention. She said the city has not made adjustments to their pay plan since 2013 and that pay plans need to be kept “up to date.” Haase further stated that this nine percent increase is “playing catch up from previous years of not remaining competitive.”
“So, actually, we’re making an adjustment to the entire pay plan, so it means several things,” Haase said. “It means something for the organization as a whole. Hopefully it brings our entire pay plan up where it is more competitive with the market, meaning it will help us with our recruiting and retention efforts. It all grants a raise, a nine percent raise, to all city employees, again to help us with retaining our qualified employees.”
The council passed nine additional ordinances on an emergency basis, such as one amending the annual budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 and another adopting the budget for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. Under resolutions, the council passed two resolutions both regarding senior living communities. The first resolution passed is for supporting the construction of Memorial Hill II, a senior living community. The second resolution passed is for supporting the rehabilitation of The Olivia Building to become a senior living community.
The council held a lengthy discussion on emergency ordinance 2020-610 with input from numerous meeting attendants. The ordinance failed first to be tabled and then was passed for approval with five in favor and four opposed, but not enough were in favor, so the ordinance could not pass on emergency basis. This ordinance was about approving a lease agreement with the City of Joplin and Parkwood Tournament, LLC in order to lease various parks facilities. Some spoke in favor of approving the ordinance while others spoke in opposition, asking for it to be tabled.
Two ordinances were approved to advance from first reading to second. The first ordinance was about authorizing the City of Joplin to enter into funding agreement with Downtown Joplin Alliance with purpose to protect, rehabilitate, and redevelop properties in downtown Joplin. The second ordinance was to approve construction agreement with Visu-Sewer or Missouri Inc. to build the 2020 East Town Infrastructure, a sanitary sewer project.
Lynn Onstot, City of Joplin public information officer, reported under reports and communication news happening within Joplin. Included in this is the Joplin Public Library now has extended their hours; there is an Ewert Pool Study meeting Tuesday, October 20 at 6 p.m.; the second Memorial Hall survey is active and a meeting will take place Tuesday, October 27 at 5:15 p.m. with a presentation at 6 p.m.; and more. There was also an update from the Joplin Sports Authority focusing on collegiate tournaments and championships held previously and their changes within Joplin in the past year. They also discussed how they foresee the upcoming year will be affected and what it may look like.
Under presentations, Mayor Ryan Stanley gave two proclamations. One proclamation deemed October 20, 2020 as Arbor Day in Joplin. The second proclamation deemed October 30, 2020 as Weatherization Day.