Baldwin set to discuss CAO contract and FY 2025 Budget

The Baldwin City Council will discuss the CAO employment contract and FY 2025 budget during Tuesday's meeting. (Jerry Neace/NowHabersham.com)

The Baldwin City Council will discuss Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Emily Woodmaster’s employment contract and the budget for the upcoming year at Tuesday’s meeting.

Council member Alice Venter has been vocal in past meetings that the CAO salary be increased by 10%. Woodmaster received a 60% salary increase last year from $65,000 to $104,000. The new increase, if approved by council, would take Woodmaster’s salary to just shy of $115,000.

One argument posed last year for the significant increase in salary was due to the number of “hats” that Woodmaster wears during the administration of the city. Factors that were considered were that she performed additional duties such as finance and human resources, to name a couple. However, hiring for those positions last year were not considered.

Mayor Stephanie Almagno has stated in past meetings that the salary is not for an individual person but relative to the position. The added increase would get the CAO salary a little closer in line with surrounding cities city manager salaries. She also has stated that should the current CAO leave, this would need to be the salary to recruit an experienced replacement.

The council will also discuss the FY 2025 budget for the city. During a rain shortened town hall meeting on May 14, Woodmaster presented the city’s budget. The general fund will increase by 25% or just over $900,000. Over a third of those increases are for salaries for new personnel. There is no indication in the FY 2025 budget for hiring a full time Finance Manager or an accounting firm to provide regular oversight and assistance with city finances, or an HR Director, only rank and file employees.

The city has been without a Finance Manager or an accounting firm providing financial oversight for the past three years. The city only provides for an auditor to perform the city’s financial audit each year.

SEE RELATED: Baldwin holds rain-shortened budget town hall meeting

The total FY 2025 budget including water and sewer funds is estimated to be just shy of $10 million.

The Baldwin City Council will meet Tuesday May 28 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Baldwin Municipal Courtroom at 155 Willingham Avenue in Baldwin.

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