Ruston Mayor’s Pay Bumped $20K, Council $2.4K

Come January 1, Ruston Mayor Ronny Walker will receive a hefty $20 thousand/year pay hike, from $80 thousand to $100 thousand. The Board of Aldermen will be bumped $200/month, from $800 to $1,000 ($9,600/yr to $12,000/yr).

The raises are a result of a vote taken by the board’s Finance Committee, consisting of all five aldermen, and are included in the Fiscal Year 2018-2019 budget that discussed at tonight’s meeting. The budget will be voted on at the next regular council meeting in September, during which a public hearing will be held.

Voting for the budget that included the raises were:

Carolyn CageWard 1
Angela MayfieldWard 2
Jedd LewisWard 3
Bruce SiegmundWard 5

Jim Pierce (Ward 4) voted no. He had earlier moved to delete the raises for the council, but that motion died for lack of a second.

Pierce said he didn’t feel comfortable voting to raise his own pay, and said that the action should have been taken before the recent qualifying period for the council and mayor.

All aldermen and Mayor Walker were re-elected without opposition.

City Treasurer Laura Hartt said the new budget provided about $823 thousand in increased employee pay citywide. The total payroll increased to 307 from 290 last year.

The council also levied the taxes on property for the tax year 2018. General alimony was set at 5.24 mils, and the recreation tax at 2.92 mils.

Both are the same rate as last year.

68 Responses to “Ruston Mayor’s Pay Bumped $20K, Council $2.4K”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Citizens of Ruston, ask some questions! Which employees are getting the $823 thousand in increased employee pay citywide? Employees and retirees have felt the brunt of little or no pay increases for the past several years along with constant increase in health premiums and less time off. Since his election, mayor has been taking away from the working people who have the know-how to get the job done and giving the big bucks to his favored few. These changes have hurt the good hard-working folks who have made Ruston what it is today. His little saying, “thank you for what you do” doesn’t mean shit! It is a shame the aldermen would go along with this.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Several years ago I retired from the city after working for over 30 years. A few months ago, I returned to a meeting about the cost of healthcare, etc. The general feeling in the room was despaire. Mayor Walker had his say and after some discussion, the meeting ended. Not one person came away feeling like they had learned a whole lot and all left feeling there was little hope it would get anything but worse every year. We all worked so hard and this was the thanks we got. Premiums so high, we cannot afford. Having to make a choice between paying premium or buying groceries. I’ve visited with men still on the payroll and the morale of city workers is at an all time low. Why is that? Why not dedicate some of that 823,000 extra payroll dollars to reduce premium costs? Why not think about the working man before you start any more of your big projects?

  3. Anonymous Says:

    I saw on the agenda that the City was selecting new auditors. Could you give an update on this?

  4. On The Outside Looking In Says:

    Disclaimer; Not sure how old this data is, but here goes. According to salaryexpert.com., “On average, mayors make about three times the median household incomes of their cites’ residents. According to worldpopulationreview.com, the median household income of Ruston is $26,637.00. That would make the mayor’s salary more like $79,911.00. This is just food for thought.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Mayor was making about $80,000 a year plus in 2017, the City paid for a brand spanking new truck to use, plus all the extra perks received, many of which may or may not be legal according to ethics standards. Auditors should check that out.

  6. Anonymous Says:

    Mayor currently makes $80,000 annually and in 2017 the City bought him a brand new spanking truck to drive. That along with all the perks along the way which may or may not be legal by ethics standards. Get my drift?

    • Anonymous Says:

      Walker continues to fire or force people to retire. He continues to hire short skirts. City in debt. Projects put off and he wants a $20,000 raise? That’s more than some of his most dedicated employees make . Fight it Ruston ! This is getting out of control.

      • Anonymous Says:

        What projects were put off? Where did the city buy his truck?

        • Anonymous Says:

          Rough Edge Road for one….Should have been locally, but not sure about the truck. Was council approved. Ask the purchasing agent.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Fact check, I believe the lowest paid worker in the city is a new hire who starts at $11.50 hr. So that’s $23,000 a year plus insurance and retirement plan.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Fact check, the City did not buy the Mayor a new truck.

  7. Mr. E Says:

    I guess Walker and the city council felt they deserved a raise after the bang up job they did wasting money on Monster Moto.

    • Anonymous Says:

      The voters (taxpayers) must be either pleased or stupid. Mayor and council all were re-elected without opposition.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Isn’t it crazy? The council members don’t go against him. And he’s first mayor ever to have a new vehicle bought for him. He needs this why? Sad days for Ruston.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Walmart may often get criticized for not paying its workers a living wage, but according to a new working paper, climbing the corporate ladder within the chain can lead to substantial income. In fact, the National Bureau of Economic Research found, Walmart store managers make an average salary of $92,462 per year.Jul 24, 2014

    Those are 2014 numbers for you folks who think $100,000 is to much. The Mayor oversees a budget of around $65,000,000.00 which I venture to say is probably a little larger than the gross sales of the local Wal-Mart.

    Some of you folks lack a little prospective because you’ve spent your entire life right here in Lincoln Parish. There are a lot of jobs out there that pay $100,000.00 and some of you would be really surprised by the number of folks here locally who make more than that. For instance the Sheriff, the DA, all the judges(city included) and the tax accessor just to name a few.

    • Anonymous Says:

      The mayor oversees the budget? You are incredibly confused. That is another dept. He might dictate what can be spent though.

      • Anonymous Says:

        If you decide what’s in the budget and how the money is spent then you oversee it. If you want to be technical about it was all the monetary operations are overseen by Laura Hart but who does she report directly too. Oh and it’s not the city council.

        • Anonymous Says:

          Exactly. And scary that he dictates.

          • Anonymous Says:

            So has every Mayor that proceeded for the last sixty years. That why it’s important to elect City Council members who will at least on occasion vote no on something other than Jim Pierce and he stance against alcohol sales.

            • Anonymous Says:

              And Mayfield used to go against as well. Now they are all just paid to be yes men.

  9. Anonymous Says:

    The new truck was council approved and Mr. Pearce pushed that one through. And you might be wrong about the lowest paid new hire starting at 11.50. Look at the postings of jobs associated with linemen.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    Would still like to know how the 823,000 will be broken down and who will receive this hefty amount?

    • Anonymous Says:

      Good point considering Walker has fired or ” encouraged to retire ” or eliminated positions of quite a few others. Was that to free up the $823,000?

  11. Anonymous Says:

    I guess you guys are unaware that both Mayor Hollingsworth and Mayor Perot received a monthly car allowance. Mayor Hollingsworth drove a Mercedes and I believe Mayor Perot drove a Lincoln Contential, Mayor Walker drives a pickup.

    As for the $832,000 in raises if the three hundred plus city employees all got a 2% annual raises that probably eats up a good chuck of the pay increases.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Quite aware of what you state. However a car allowance is not the same as a brand new vehicle. Also is Walker still taking Fridays off?

      • Anonymous Says:

        What’s the difference? Car Allowance I give you the money to pay your car note, insurance and maintenance vs city making the LEASE payments on the mayors truck. If I’m getting a car allowance I can buy a new car every other year and use your money to build my equity in my car or I can let you make the lease payments on your car.

        • Anonymous Says:

          Can you prove it’s a lease and not purchase? Are you privy to that info? Wasn’t it mentioned at council meeting it was to be purchased?

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Car allowances were minimal and I believe that was Mayor Perritt you are thinking about – not Perot.

    I appreciated an editorial that appeared in the Ruston Leader on August 24 stating that Alderman Jim Pearce is correct. It doesn’t look good for members of the Board of Aldermen to consider giving themselves a raise one month after being re-elected and it doesn’t look good for board to consider giving Mayor Ronny Walker a raise for the same reason. Ever since coming into office, Mayor has been feverishly looking for ways to cut employee benefits to save money. OR was it to boost his own pocket? Think about it. Most current employees would tell you the truth if they were not afraid for their own jobs.

    • Anonymous Says:

      Majority are very afraid. Their voices have been stolen.

      • Anonymous Says:

        You don’t speak for me or most of the guys I work with. Not Happy about the insurance or the PTO policy but everything else is so much better run now than it ever was when Ed Pittman was running things. Hollingsworth couldn’t have picked me out of a lineup but Walker will come up to you look you in the eye and talk to you. and I NEVER saw Dan at the shop.

        • Anonymous Says:

          Oh so you work at the shop? How long you think you’ll be there? Feeling secure?

          • Anonymous Says:

            Definitely in the minority. Walker has a knack to politicing. “Thank you for what you do” with a pat on the back is his favorite thing to do. Doesn’t mean bunk!

    • Anonymous Says:

      I’ll agree with you on two things: it was Perritt and Jim Pierce was right about the council voting themselves a pay raise. However ole Jim speaks out of both sides of his mouth because I’m pretty sure he is the chair of the finance committee and is the one who proposed and voted for the Mayor’s pay raise. To your point about employees benefits it is more accurate to say since taking office Walker has feverishly worked to reduce “COSTS “ associated with employee benefits. Gone is the Cadillac Health Plan that was costing the City almost two million a year. In its place is a Chevy plan that forces employees to take more ownership of their health care decisions and comes with a Health Savings Account that the city funds completely . The money put in there then becomes the property of the employee. Granted if you have a lot of medical expenses or have a family member who does it’s not great but if your healthy it can be another retirement savings vehicle. Prior to Walker’s arrival the employee benefits package was on the verge of bankrupting the city. Change is difficult no matter when it comes but it was really badly needed.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Is this why he’s discarding so many long time older employees? Age discrimination perhaps?

        • Anonymous Says:

          Your going to have to gives us some numbers when you say discarding so many long time employees. I have only heard of three being fired in the last four years. Three out of three hundred is not a large wholesale change.

          • Anonymous Says:

            If you were truly in the know ( & you’re not if you’re in the shop ) then you would know the numbers and the truth. There have been 3 in just the last few weeks!

            • Anonymous Says:

              Who? And even if your right which you aren’t 6 out 300 is still a very very very small number.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Last I heard the mayor pro tem is Jedd Lewis who is also chairman of personnel finance committee.

      • Anonymous Says:

        You just don’t know what you are talking about.

        • Anonymous Says:

          Right. No one council member has any authority. They don’t go against Walker. I too agree they shouldn’t have given their own raises. Have lost respect for all of them. Have backbone men & ladies!

  13. Anonymous Says:

    I’ll bet Elmore Mayfield would not have put up with all this absurdity.
    He would have asked plenty of questions and demanded answers. His daughter is on the council. How about it Angela Mayfield? Stand up for what is right. Don’t be snookered any longer.

  14. Anonymous Says:

    Mr. Mayfield served the City well over the years. Yes, he asked a lot of questions and yes, he demanded facts. The bottom line was he loved the city and much was accomplished because of his tireless efforts.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Another one bites the dust…. How many more will go?

  16. Anonymous Says:

    I hear of late, there have been several jobs vacated with city for one reason or the other. However, there have been no new positions posted online except city forester and deputy marshal and they have been listed forever. Why is that? I thought all pay plan positions were supposed to be posted. Nothing new posted in the hallway either.

    Also, our power has gone off several times in recent weeks and no need to call the 255-1316 number posted in the city’s website as no one ever answers. Website is not up-to-date.

  17. Anonymous Says:

    “Eliminating positions” sounds so mundane. Remember, these are hardworking people and for the most part doing a darn good job. They are all making a living for their families. So, when mayor decides to “eliminate” a position, he is affecting the life of one of our own – a family. Notice, he never attempts to find them another spot somewhere in the City. No! The way these families are treated in such a cold manner is just wrong. Positions will likely be filled by an outsider with little or no experience and handpicked by mayor, sometimes months in advance of the so-called vacancy or should I say eliminated position. He claims to not micromanage the departments, but that is incorrect. Think about it.

    • Anonymous Says:

      And all of these people were working at the city long before Walker ever thought of being mayor. What’s he attempted before? Youth pastor. Tech employee. Bank employee. These people were stable long time city employees excelling at their jobs while he wasn’t anywhere near city hall.

      • Anonymous Says:

        Add up all salaries of people he has let go. Will that money now go to pay for sports complex?

        • Anonymous Says:

          Probably will go to pay for positions created by mayor’s program of “eliminating positions” and bringing in those who have no idea how city government operates and the laws that govern municipalities. Mayor and his short skirts should have taken a course before he started bending the rules. I wonder how many ethics violations he has racked up? How many kickbacks?

      • Anonymous Says:

        Where did he lose his moral compass?

  18. A Says:

    How much does the new project increase Walker’s property on the Farmerville HWY?

  19. Anonymous Says:

    Significantly!!!!!

  20. A Says:

    It’s going to be interesting or sad to see the way they use private/public partnerships along with more bonds to pay for the new Delta Project. No bid laws required!

    • Anonymous Says:

      Also mayor the reason nobody ran against you this time is not because everyone is happy. Far from it. It’s because nobody wants to inherit the trail you will leave behind someday.

  21. Anonymous Says:

    And the financial burden will be enormous!

  22. Anonymous Says:

    Taxpayers get ready. There’s more to come.

  23. Anonymous Says:

    Raising taxes and eliminating jobs just to replace them with younger, inexperienced people…and not necessarily paying the new hires less. Makes no sense

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