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City employees will get raise
Mayor: Move offsets rising insurance costs
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For the second time this year, the Dawsonville City Council has voted to give municipal employees a raise.

Last week's 4-0 vote means employees and elected officials will each receive about $30 extra a month.

The raise offsets the cost of rising insurance premiums, said Mayor Joe Lane Cox.

"What I'd like to do is give the employees a raise, so that they won't lose anything out of pocket," said Cox at the council's Dec. 6 meeting.

"Everybody is saying that things are lean and things are tight. Nobody's making a whole lot of money [at the city]. I don't know about other places."

The raises, which together total $4,100 for the year, include the city's five full-time employees, four councilmen and mayor.

In June, the council approved a cost-of-living increase for employees as part of the city's $1.15 million budget for 2010-11.

Prior to that, employees had not received raises in three years, Cox said.

The mayor explained the situation at the Dec. 6 meeting.

Had council not approved the raises, he said, it would have been "like all the employees are taking a pay cut."

"I know times are hard, so I hate to cut anybody's pay," he said.

Councilman James Grogran agreed.

"Everybody's getting bit by higher insurance costs right now," Grogan said. "If we're able to help our employees, I'm all for it."

He added that the city "has the greatest staff members around ... anything we can do to hang on to that group of people is a good thing."