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Columbia City Council to vote on roll carts, paid parental leave, and salary increases


EDITOR'S NOTE: Paternity leave has been changed to parental leave to encompass both maternity and paternity leave.

The Columbia City Council is expected to vote on multiple agenda items Monday night including roll carts, paid parental leave for the council, and salary increases for Columbia employees.

Roll Carts

City council members are set to vote on another decision regarding Columbia's ban on the use of roll carts. For many months, this subject has been heavily debated between the city council and community members.

In 2016, 53% of voters chose to ban the use of roll carts.

After a recent petition garnered over 3,000 signatures from residents to reverse the ban, it was presented to the city council. Council members either had to get rid of the ban or put in place a special election for voters to decide on whether or not they wanted to get rid of the ban.

The previous city council voted to enact a special election in August.

Now, the newly elected council proposed in a 4-2 vote in favor of reconsidering the special election for voters to potentially withdraw the ban. This could give the current council the option then to reverse the ban on roll carts.

The vote on that decision about the special election is set for Monday night.

Paid Parental Leave for City Council Members

A proposal for paid parental leave for city council members is up for a vote Monday night.

The proposal would allow any member of the city council who has or adopts a child to take 12 weeks off of paid parental leave.

The council proposal says this policy is to "encourage residents who are interested in becoming an elected member and who may want to become a new parent during their term."

The current policy for the council allows members to be absent due to sickness or reasons out of their control. This proposed parental leave policy would allow for a broader spectrum of absentee reasons.

According to the proposal, if a member wishes to extend their leave, they must submit a request to the mayor, city manager, and city clerk. The council would then take up the request and approve or deny the additional leave.

Mid-Year Salary Increases

On Monday night, council members are set to vote on changing the fiscal year 2022 budget for mid-year salary adjustments for all employees.

It would also provide mid-year pay adjustments for unrepresented and Water and Light Association

This salary adjustment would constitute a 3% pay increase for all permanent employees and cost the city around $3,300,000.

The proposal also requests the city council wave a rule to allow all eligible permanent employees to receive a pay increase that might be above the maximum salary range for a certain position. The salary range was previously set by the fiscal year 2022 pay plan.

If passed Monday night, council documents state the pay raise would go into effect immediately.

The Columbia City Council meeting is set to start at 7 p.m.

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Meghan Drakas

Meghan joined ABC 17 News in January 2021.
The Penn State grad is from the Philadelphia suburbs where she interned with several local TV stations.


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