The Pine Bluff City Council will consider paying assistant to the mayor Ted Davis $1,528 for his added duties of overseeing the Animal Control Department for the past few months and through the end of the year.

The Pine Bluff City Council will consider paying assistant to the mayor Ted Davis $1,528 for his added duties of overseeing the Animal Control Department for the past few months and through the end of the year.

The proposed budget adjustment will be considered by the council at 5:30 p.m. Monday in council chambers at the civic complex. The Ways and Means Committee, which will first consider the proposal, meets at 5 p.m. in the conference room adjoining council chambers.

The proposal also includes an added $224 in Social Security and retirement contributions associated with the extra pay. The funding for Davis’ compensation would come from unused money budgeted for salaries within the Animal Control Department.

Attached to the proposed legislation is a copy of a page from the municipal employee handbook, which states that an employee who is required to assume the duties of another employee in a higher pay grade is entitled to acting-status compensation if the position is held for a month or more. The compensation rate is set at a 10 percent increase to the employee’s salary or the minimum of the pay grade for the assumed position, whichever is more. When the employee is no longer is responsible for the increased duties, the pay increase ceases, according to the handbook.

Mayor Carl A. Redus Jr. has said in previous interviews that he thinks he put Davis in the position on Oct. 1, but he was not sure. Davis also did not remember.

Previously, the council approved a total of $3,288 in extra salary, Social Security and retirement contributions to Police Chief Brenda Davis-Jones for overseeing the department from February through September. Redus had proposed merging the Animal Control and Police departments, but the council voted down that idea Sept. 6.

The council has not voted to pay extra to Sgt. Michael Jenkins, a police officer who worked in the Animal Control Department for much of the year. Redus has said in previous meetings that he did not think it would be necessary to give Jenkins extra compensation.

Redus has said in previous meetings that he put Davis in charge of managing the Animal Control Department while the mayor’s office evaluates how the department should be structured and who should lead it.

When Redus first suggested in an Oct. 18 committee meeting that the council might be presented with a proposal to compensate Davis, Alderman Irene Holcomb responded that such a decision should have been discussed before Davis was ever put in the position. Redus disagreed.

Holcomb has also criticized Redus for putting Davis-Jones in charge of Animal Control without council approval and for, without the council’s knowledge, leaving Jenkins at the department even after the council had rejected the proposal to merge the Police and Animal Control departments.

Also on Oct. 18, Redus gave the full council an estimate of 90 days for when he expects to have his evaluation of the department complete and make a recommendation to the council as to how it should be structured and who should lead it.

Other Business

In other business, the council will consider:

• The 2012 budget, including what kind of raises to give city employees. Redus proposes a 4.1 percent raise for most city employees, while Alderman Thelma Walker and Holcomb propose an $1,800 raise for all employees. Regardless of which type of raise is given, organizations representing the police and fire departments have requested the amounts to be spent on their departments total $600,000 — a figure frequently mentioned in the campaign for the five-eighths-cent sales tax. Redus disputes their argument, saying that the stated figure was “up to $600,000.” According to numbers provided by the city finance department, the $1,800 raise would provide public safety employees with more than $648,490 in raises, while the percentage-based raise would result in $572,628 in public safety raises.

• Several items related to a proposal for the city to purchase the Saenger Theatre. A proposed resolution would accept the donation of the Saenger and its neighboring annex building to the city from Old Town Theatres Centre Inc. Another proposed resolution would set up a memorandum of understanding for how the city and Old Town will jointly continue to raise money for the theater and manage the property. There is also a proposed $35,500 budget adjustment to replace the roof on the Saenger: $16,000 in General Improvement Fund contributions from four area state legislators; $14,500 in miscellaneous city funds; and $5,000 from Old Town Theatre Centres Inc. And there is a proposed ordinance, up for its first reading, that would add a line item to the city budget for the Saenger. It includes an emergency clause, which, if adopted by the council, would cause the ordinance to go into immediate effect.

• A proposed $46,950 budget adjustment for the Police Department, including: $8,000 for an awards and appreciation banquet, $8,000 for uniform reimbursements, $5,000 to purchase radar equipment, $5,000 for the crime tip reward fund and to move $20,950 in monies that have been received from insurance reimbursements for damaged police vehicles to the the appropriate budget line item. In a letter attached to the proposal, Davis-Jones states that the uniform fund needs to be replenished because of officers leaving during the year who had already spent their uniform allowance before leaving.

• A proposed ordinance, up for its first reading, to revitalize the Youth Commission, which has fallen into disuse. The item is sponsored by Steven Mays. Mays is also sponsoring two proposed resolutions: one that establishs a crime prevention advisory council made up of community religious leaders and another that would establish a steering committee for the Neighborhood Watch program to coordinate efforts between the various individual groups.

• A proposed resolution urging the Pine Bluff School District to donate the former Sam Taylor Elementary School building to the city so that it can be used as a police facility. The item is sponsored by Walker and Holcomb.

• A proposed $204,900 budget adjustment for several items in the Economic and Community Development Department. The main item is $176,088 from the sale of two houses that the city rebuilt and sold. The funds will be put back into the federally funded HOME account that they originally came from so that they can be used on similar future projects, department director Donald Sampson said.

• A proposed resolution that would make Vickie Conaway director of the Human Resources Department rather than interim director, the position she has held for many years.

• A proposed $12,500 budget adjustment to provide a grant to Juvenile Court. The funds would come from the five-eighths-cent sales tax.

• A proposed resolution authorizing the city to accept donated property adjoining the Lake Saracen Walking Trail from Richard Metcalf.

• A proposed $3,553 budget adjustment to shift the salaries in the city Finance Department after a series of personnel changes. The funding would come from within the department.

• A proposed $1,200 budget adjustment to shift some line items in the Inspection and Zoning Department to provide for more money for gas and permit taxes.

• A proposed $650 budget adjustment to provide more money for gas in the Animal Control Department.

• A proposed $200 budget adjustment shifting line items within the city clerk’s budget to provide more money for publishing.

• And a proposed resolution condemning 23 properties and ordering their demolition.