San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

September 15th, 2008
Kyle council to consider cop pay


KYLE – The city council in Kyle is in for a busy evening Tuesday, when a new budget, tax rate, civil service pay scale and committee structure are all on the agenda.

The only completely new wrinkle on the task list is civil service pay, which will determine how the city will compensate police officers. Voters approved civil service rules for the Kyle Police Department (KDP) in May.

In his memo to the council attached to the agenda, Kyle City Manager Tom Mattis said the details about the pay scale hadn’t been worked out as of late last week. However, he said, the details would be finalized in time for Tuesday’s meeting.

The city council also will finalize the property tax rate to support a total budget of $33.3 million. The council has guaranteed a maximum tax rate of 37.31 cents per $100 of valuation, an increase of 10.24 cents from one year ago.

The possibility exists that the council will pass a slightly lower tax rate. The council has asked the city staff to advise on how much money would be saved by deferring five hirings from Oct. 1 to Jan. 1. City officials said informally that the savings would come to no more than $50,000, if that. A $50,000 savings would reduce the tax rate by less than one-half cent.

With hopes of making city citizens committees more efficient, the council is expected to approve a new committee structure, along with the formations of new committees.

Under the proposed system, each of the seven councilmembers would chair one of the seven committees. Each committee would be required to meet at least once every three months.

The proposal drew opposition last week from Councilmembers Lucy Johnson and David Salazar, who said citizens committees should be kept in the hands of citizens to encourage greater participation.

The committees are: Strategic Planning and Finance, Community Relations, Public Works and Service, Mobility, Parks and Recreation (which would replace the Parks and Recreation Board), Safety and Emergency Services, and Economic Development and Tourism.

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