The Lafayette City-Parish Council will vote on an ordinance for final adoption Tuesday that would grant a 2 percent pay raise to employees of Lafayette Consolidated Government. The measure was approved as an introductory ordinance on Dec. 7 by a vote of 6-2. Councilmen Jay Castille, Brandon Shelvin, Kenneth Boudreaux, Jared Bellard, Sam Dore and Don Bertrand voted in favor; Keith Patin and William Theriot cast nay votes. (Purvis Morrison was absent.)

City-Parish President Joey Durel hadn’t budgeted a pay raise for LCG employees — the first year a pay raise was omitted from a budget since 2001 — in his 2010-2011 fiscal year budget released last summer. However, citing better than anticipated sales tax collections in the second half of FY 2009-2010, Durel asked council members to convene a special meeting to vote on the measure. At that Dec. 7 special meeting, LCG Chief Financial Officer Becky Lalumia told council members that the raise will help offset, but will not completely cover, an increase in the cost city-parish employees incurred for LCG’s group health insurance plan.

Civil Service Director Mike Sands also recommended the pay hike, telling the council it will help maintain hiring rates at LCG. In a recent email, Durel also defended the pay increase along the same lines, deflecting suggestions that the raise is politically calculated: “I don’t make decisions based on how it will affect my election; I make decisions based on information I have available and trying to run an efficient government that positions Lafayette for a great future,” Durel replied. “I doubt that many business people would think that rewarding and retaining employees by giving a minimal pay increase — based on available funds — is being a big spender. I hear people often say that we should run government like a business. We are.”

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