Austell City Council approves pay and compensation plan, passes two anti-racism resolutions

Austell City HallAustell City Hall (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

At Monday evening’s Austell City Council Meeting the council approved a pay and compensation plan for city employees.

The council also passed two resolutions regarding racism: a general anti-racism resolution, and a resolution in support of Georgia’s hate crimes bill (which was passed and signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp on June 26).

Pay and compensation study

Councilwoman Melanie Maria Elder explained the pay and compensation study, and put forward the resolution to adopt it.

Elder made the following report:


The purpose of this study is to ensure and maintain a fair, equitable and competitive classification and compensation plan that allows for the attraction and retention of qualified individuals.

The city needed to reorganize its current pay classification, structure and compensation plan into a system that is more useful and efficient.

The city chose the Archer company to create a plan to do so. The Archer company recommends that each employee be brought to the minimum of the pay range for his or her grade as quickly as is economically feasible and that tenured employees are treated fairly with respect to seniority to avoid salary compression issues.

The placement of all City of Austell employees into new pay range is based on tenure.

The approximate cost of implementing the study is $51,686. And this affects 14 full time and three part time positions. It is the recommendation of the General Administration Committee to approve the findings and recommendations of the Archer company study.

The motion was seconded and passed 6-0.

Resolution condemning racism

Mayor Ollie Clemons read the following resolution condemning racism:

Whereas, the city of Austell, its Mayor, City Council, Chief of Police, the entire Austell Police Department, together with all of our employees are saddened, disheartened, and concerned by the tragic events that have recently occurred across the country and here in Georgia in all other killings of unarmed men and women of color,

Whereas, the City of Austell denounces all forms of racism, bigotry, hatred, violence, brutality, and injustice against all. Today, we stand united with all communities in our city, in the state, nationwide and globally to call for an end to these atrocities, which have resulted in unarmed African American males being shot and killed in a disproportionately higher rate than unarmed males of any other race,

Whereas, the City of Austell continues to maintain a police department that is locally recognized as it meets or exceeds all training requirements, fosters diversity, and is built on a culture of trust, transparency and accountability by fostering police-community relations through programs like its citizens police academy,

Whereas, the City of Austell, the Chief of Police, and all members of the Austell Police Department support and reaffirm our dedication to the tenets of honesty, integrity, respect, teamwork, professionalism and loyalty.

Whereas, the City of Austell will continue to provide oversight, review, accountability and feedback on all aspects of policing. But most specifically on any issues regarding the use of force, brutality, misconduct, or any other relevant issue,

Whereas, the City of Austell will continue to be honest and transparent with internal and external stakeholders, and we’ll continue to build on the culture of trust within the city.

Whereas,the City of Austell acknowledges and appreciates the support of the citizens and visitors to our great city, hereby commits to continue to value high integrity, accountability, stewardship, and citizen focused services as we provide a safe, peaceful and progressive environment to all citywide operations.

Therefore, it is resolved that the Mayor, City Council, and Chief of Police, in collaboration with all our employees, and elected and appointed officials, stand firm against racism in all forms and stand firm for human and civil rights, gender equality, racial, social and economic justice for our citizens, business and visitors to our All-American city.

The resolution passed 6-0.

Support for Hate Crimes Bill

Mayor Clemons also read a resolution in support of the recently enacted hate crimes legislation:

He read the resolution as follows:

Whereas, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, hate crimes across the United States rose by 17 percent in 2017, and remained at heightened levels in 2018, with more than 7,120 incidents reported, and

Whereas, Georgia was one of only four states in the United States that did not have any laws on hate crimes, and

Whereas, House Bill 426, “Hate Crimes Bill” was approved by the Georgia House of Representatives and the Georgia State Senate on June 23 2020. was signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp on Friday, June 26 2020, and

Whereas, House Bill 426 provides penalties for a person convicted of a crime, who intentionally selected any victim or group of victims or any property as an object of the offense because of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, mental disability or physical disability of such victim or group of victims and

Whereas, the Austell city mayor and council desires to promote the safe and quiet enjoyment of all residents and visitors, and

Whereas, in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens and visitors of the City of Austell, the Austell city mayor and council desires to express to the Georgia General Assembly, its support for the passage of House Bill 426.

Therefore, it is resolved that the City of Austell mayor and council expresses its support for the passage of House Bill 426, “Hate Crime Bill”.

The resolution passed 6-0.