WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - Only one Warner Robins citizen spoke up Monday in a public hearing about the fiscal year 2014 budget.
That citizen told Mayor Chuck Shaheen and council he hadn't seen a copy of the budget. Shaheen explained the budget has been available for the last two weeks in the city clerk's office and on the city's website.
The only item in the budget that's raised real concern from council members is a 3% pay increase for city employees. Shaheen says he doesn't understand the holdup since the $36 million budget is balanced with no tax increases.
"If you don't pay your people, they're gonna go somewhere else," says Shaheen. "We want to pay them and compensate them appropriately and keep good employees right here in Warner Robins. I have no idea why council would discuss a pay adjustment."
Even though Monday was the public hearing, council members say they still haven't had a chance to discuss the budget in-depth.
During Monday's meeting, Councilman Mike Brashear read this statement out loud.
On Sunday, June 2, the mayor sent an e-mail to all city employees insinuating that I was against a pay increase for our city employees. This is an untruth; council is continuing to discuss the FY-2014 budget and I have no pre-conceived position until we complete discussions and vote.
Councilman Brashear declined to comment further, but we asked the mayor about that accusation. He said the city attorney read that e-mail and assured him there was nothing wrong with it.
Brashear announced last week he plans to run for mayor. Shaheen, who hasn't said whether he'll run again, called the councilman's statement a campaign move.
Council will meet again on Thursday to take a deeper look into the budget.