Sorting Out the Budget

In the midst of deep state budget discussions going on in Atlanta, smaller cities in Georgia are dealing with their own budget issues.

Several City Council members are pushing for city employees to get a pay raise that is one of the issues being discussed along with cutting costs to save the city's budget up to $100,000

Cairo's city manager says there is a number of decisions on they city’s plate. Cairo's city manager, David Smith, says city employees have put in a year of hard work.

"All of them would be interested in having a raise, what with the cost of things going up as it is," says Smith.

But getting them a pay increase requires major budget checks and balances on the part of city officials.

David Smith says, "There's a couple of vehicles that have been cut and it's hard to project on a vehicle. You feel like there is a need, however, if you don't get it, what are those repair bills going to be like during the course of the year as opposed to buying a new one?"

Joe Porter, a Cairo resident, says, "I think with today's economic climate it's tough for any city or county government to operate, so I think they're trying to do the best they can with the resources they have."

Residents of Cairo agree. They say their city employees are doing a good job, but residents say their main concern when it comes to the city's budget is bringing more industry to the area.

Stacey Tucker, a Cairo resident, says, "Like malls, convenience stores, restaurants, a teen center because there's nothing for the little children around here but getting in trouble."

City officials say talks are continuing and they hope to meet somewhere in the middle to keep everyone happy.

The Cairo City Council will meet Monday night to discuss more on these issues. The last time these raises were discussed, no decisions could be made. The last time city officials met, it was in a workshop setting. They hope to make more progress during their regular meeting sessions.