Council Cuts Annual City Employee Bonus

In a move saving the city nearly $8,000, the City Council voted to reduce the annual bonuses paid to city employees by $300 during the regular council meeting Monday night.
Twenty-two city employees will be affected by a reduction in annual bonus from $400 to $100 in Minden Chamber Bucks.
According to City Administrator Lewis, the annual bonuses for city employees has been an ongoing practice for nearly thirty years. What began as a $50 employee bonus was increased to $400 two years ago for those employed with the city for longer than ten to twelve months.
The proposed employee bonuses totaled close to $10,000.  
In the past, the employee bonus was set and approved by the mayor and city administrator but did not come before the council for approval; however Mayor Roger Jones put the item on the agenda for discussion by the council.
Councilman Larry Evans made the recommendation to reduce the amount of employee bonus, basing the recommendation on the recent 2.5 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for city employees and budgetary concerns.
“I would like to recommend this,” said Evans, “that all city employees, I don’t care how many months of service they have, receive $100, but it be Minden Chamber bucks.  
The recommendation reduced the cost of the annual employee bonuses to $2,200.
The cut in bonus was approved by the council on a 3-1 vote, with Councilman Kleen voting in opposition; however there was some contention regarding a conflict of interest in Kleen’s participation in the vote due to the fact that he is a paid employee of the city.
Kleen told the council,  “Don’t you even go there, I have been advised by the city attorney that the only thing I can’t vote on was something pertaining to me and to only me.”
Councilman Griess responded that in his opinion, he felt the public would interpret it differently.

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