Agenda Error Prompts Pulaski Council to Hold Off on Salary Matrix Updates Again

For the second month in a row, the Pulaski County Council has deferred action on updates to the county’s salary matrix. This time, it was apparently due to an error in the meeting agenda.

It’s the latest in a complicated series of discussions. For months, department heads had been asking for more clarification about how the salary matrix is supposed to work. Council members tried to resolve the issue back in June by adopting a set of written “Matrix Rules.”

But last month, Auditor Laura Wheeler proposed some adjustments to the matrix itself, to bring it in line with the new guidelines. At the time, council members decided to hold off on any action, due to questions about whether the EMS Department should be added into the matrix, and if so, how to do it.

During this month’s meeting, council member Linda Powers said she’d discussed the issue with Wheeler and County Attorney Kevin Tankersley. “Their wages hadn’t been put in the division of the matrix like everybody else in the county,” Powers explained, “and so all we would need to do – make sure I’m saying this right – is put their wages into the longevity part of things, however long they’ve been here.”

Wheeler said she’d updated her proposal accordingly and sent it to the council members for their review. However, she said she forgot to put the salary matrix on that night’s meeting agenda.

Because of that, council member Ken Boswell wasn’t sure if it could technically be voted on. “I’m good at covering it tonight,” he said. “I’m just not sure what the rules are, if it’s not on the agenda, on what we can cover because if it’s not on the agenda prior to the meeting, I don’t think we can do anything with it at this meeting. I want this thing done. I mean, I know where I stand on it. Everybody knows where I stand. I’d vote on it today and say it’s done, but I don’t think we can.”

The county council plans to revisit the salary matrix updates during next month’s meeting.