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      Raises on the way for city employees?

      The Albany City Commissioners held a special called meeting Tuesday morning to continue budget negotiations with city department heads.Water, Gas, and Light has recommended a pay raise for employees, but City Manager James Taylor says if WGL gets a raise, then all city employees should get raises. A two percent pay increase would cost the city $800,000 a year, while city employees last received a raise in 2010.Commissioner Jon Howard says dedicated employees should be given a raise to know that their services aren't being overlooked.

      We have too many employees in this city that feel they are disenchanted with the commissioners and a raise would probably be something to help them get from paycheck to paycheck, said Jon Howard, Albany Commissioner.

      Howard agreed that if WGL employees get a raise then all city employees should get a raise.Commissioner Tommy Postel says he is not in favor of a raise being that we are still in a recession. He says the city doesn't have to give a raise just because Water, Gas, and Light commissioners say they want a raise.We don't have the funds and when I asked the question of where the money would come from they could not tell me they didn't know, said Tommy Postel, Albany Mayor Pro Tem.

      Commissioners say even if they currently have enough money to pay for a raise, in the future that money won't be there.

      We have $3.5 million of money that's in the budget now that's going to go away so when it goes away we're still going to have to come up with the money, said Ivey Hines, Albany Commissioner.

      The stream of MEAG funds will end in 2018. Officials say if raises are implemented now, the cost may cause tax hikes in the future.

      Now that commissioners have decided against pay raises, those in favor of the increase say hopefully officials will consider a bonus to satisfy employee needs.

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