Article Comment 

City saved $4K by consolidating position


Nathan Gregory



The city of Columbus saved $4,058 in taxpayer money by consolidating the duties of a retiring employee. 


Etta Petty, a part-time purchasing and office support clerk, made $9,058 before her recent retirement. Rather than replace her, city councilmen gave $2,500 raises to payroll clerk Erica Bankhead and office support clerk Carolyn Aviles. With the raises, Bankhead now makes a salary of $30,908 and Aviles makes $21,632.  


A Freedom of Information Act request was required to obtain the salary information. After councilmen discussed the matter last week during a meeting in executive session, city attorney Jeff Turnage announced the council's decision but did not say who retired, who received increased compensation or what any of the salaries were. Taxpayer money used to pay city employees and their salaries is a matter of public record. The FOIA request was filed after multiple city officials declined to provide that information. 


The city lists the position Petty held included a variety of duties, including secretarial duties involving composition and typing forms and documents, matching purchase orders with invoices and tabulating various documents and records among other tasks.


Nathan Gregory covers city and county government for The Dispatch.



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