Perry Budget Pay Raises

Small towns often have a tough time keeping police officers and firefighters on board because their salaries simply can't compete with those in bigger cities. The revolving door is swinging in Perry.

The city of Perry does such a good job training police officers and firefighters that everybody wants a piece of them; and when they leave the city loses time and money.

"Our salaries are lower than other organizations. And we hoped this year to start a substantial raise for them," says Richard Frith, Perry Mayor.

Substantial to the tune of about $5,000. The city council wants to bump starting salaries to $30,000 a year.

The city of Perry says their salaries simply are not competitive. They are training law enforcement officers and firefighters only to lose them to the state prison or agencies in Tallahassee.

For Lt. Vern Clark of the Perry Police Department retaining good officers is a constant worry.

"We've lost a lot of officers to the State Fire Marshall office, the Highway Patrol, Game and Fish Commission, a lot of different state agencies"

Raises for the city council and other city employees are also being considered. Mayor Frith says it's a matter of hammering out the budget.

"I hope that we can come to a conclusion that will give us a budget and give us the funds we need to retain these employees."

The city council is looking to fund the pay raises using cash reserves.