Morrow announces public hearing on Civil Service Board salary increase
Monday night will be the next step in reopening a discussion about a raise for Civil Service Board members in Russellville.
Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow has called for a public hearing on the topic of a raise in salary for the board. A bill to the effect died during the legislative session when Morrow and Rep. Larry Stutts did not see eye-to-eye on its contents.
Morrow said the original raise proposed to him was from $200 to $300, to which he committed his support. When the bill came to him for approval in session, however, he found that Stutts had changed it to allow the city council complete authority over setting the rate. Morrow said he amended it to reflect the original agreement, but without Stutts’ approval, the bill died without making it to the House for a vote.
Morrow said he could not support last minute changes to the proposed bill, particularly without knowing whether the new contents met with Russellville citizens’ approval and particularly because approving that kind of across-the-board authority for a city council is less common that approving specific salary increases.
“I have always refused to make hurry-up decisions when it comes to changing legislation that has been in place for decades,” Morrow said.
Morrow said he plans to, at Monday’s public hearing, present all possibilities for legislation to increase the Civil Service Board salaries, from the specific raise, to the council authority that Stutts advocated, to a constitutional amendment that would give the council this authority for not only the Civil Service Board but other boards for which raises currently require legislative approval.
He will request public input and a council recommendation and resolution.
“I do not care – Door No. 1, Door No. 2 or Door No. 3 It doesn’t matter to me which door we choose,” Morrow said. “But it does matter to me the people have input and make that decision, not a freshman senator… who wants me to make a quick decision in the closing hours of the session.”
Morrow said he will gladly sponsor a bill that reflects the Russellville City Council’s preference as laid out in a resolution adopted by the council.
“It’s entirely the people of Russellville’s decision. I just want to make sure what we do is in line with the thinking of the people,” Morrow said. “At least this way it will be done the proper way.”
Monday public hearing will be held in the evening, likely at 6 p.m., at Russellville City Hall.