News 12 at 11 o'clock/ Friday, June 27, 2014
Augusta, Ga (WRDW)---Augusta Commissioners held their annual city retreat . City leaders discussed issues that affect employees and property owners in Augusta Richmond County.
Officials spent majority of the morning discussing the city's handbook and possible changes . The Fire Department wants a review board to handle their employees concerns instead of the city's human resources department. Some officials also want the personnel review board to have the final say in firing over the city's administrator.
Commissioners spent a lot of time discussing the 2014 budget. Right now they're facing a $5 million dollar hole in the budget.
Leaders are considering raising the millage rate, selling employees three days of their vacation time, and taxing manufacturing companies up to 2 percent. City employees could also receive a $1,000 increase to their gross salary.
The Richmond County Fire-Department has lost more than 100 entry level employees over the last five years. Fire-chief Chris James says he has lower ranked employees that make more than management.
James also told leaders his departments sick leave should be revised because some are taking advantage of it.
Commissioner Wayne Guilfoyle wants the commission to change the charter and give the mayor more power. He says the commission should be a policy making board. Commissioner Bill Lockett disagreed saying let the voters decide how much power the mayor should have.
No action was taken during the retreat, but we're told movement could happen on several of those issues in the coming weeks.