No Property Tax Increase for Sharon, Employee Raises Increase by 3.02%

Fire Chief to Get Raise, Police Employee Raise Request to be Controlled by the Mayor and Chief Fails on the Floor for Lack of a Second


The city of Sharon passed their 2024-25 fiscal year budget with employee raises increasing by 3.02%. The Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System (TCRS) informs city’s of what the minimum is that they are required to pay, according to Mayor Donna Stricklin.

During last year’s passing of the budget there was only a 1% raise for employees.

“They send that out every year. Sometimes it goes up and sometimes it goes down, but you have to pay the minimum on what they send you. The city has no choice. You can, however, pay more than what you send you.” Stricklin stated.

Stricklin said that she was unaware that TCRS had sent out the new document of the minimum raise increase and that the city needed to know before finalizing the budget so she had to go back and change some of the figures.

“Next year if they drop that to 2% and the board says that they have already done the 3% and they don’t want to take away, we can do this optional and keep it at 3%,” Stricklin said.

Stricklin did advise the board that they have not yet received their audit yet and without one the state might not approve the budget. Stricklin does not know when that audit will come in.

“We’re trying to operate and work within a budget, but when I submit this, they may send a letter that states “until you are audited we are not going to approve your budget,”” Stricklin said.

The board passed the budget unanimously; however, Fire and Police Chief Gary Eddings came in after the budget had been passed with a few requests regarding his departments. Those requests were heard at the July 8 board meeting.

In the budget, the city had given the full-time police employees a $0.50 raise, and the part-time employees a $0.25 raise, but they did not include the fire chief, Gary Eddings, who gets paid $350.95 per month. The board voted to raise that to $400 per month.

The next thing that Eddings wanted brought to the boards attention was allowing him and Stricklin to decide the police departments raises.

“Many part-time policemen that do different things for our department and Gary feels like that he knows more about what they do and how valuable they are, so he would like for himself and with my help to give the employees their raises and for us to decide whether one gets $0.25 or one gets $0.40,” Stricklin explained to the board.

This would not be an annual thing according to Stricklin but would only happen this fiscal year and would not take any extra money in the department’s budget.

“For the police officers, the problem that have is, we have a good group of people now that's working. All of them are full-time or part-time and some are certified. Three-quarters of them have college criminal justice degrees. Every department around us is paying part-time from $19 to $18.50 an hour and we're $1.50 below that. So if we raise ours up, I want to retain ours instead of having them start jumping ship because they can make more money and raise their pay up and still not ask any more money in the police department budget,” Eddings explained.

“I just want the discretion to raise it to try to stay comparable to the other cities surrounding us, or they're gonna jump ship really quick. It's gonna be all right, like I said, she's watching the budget anyway, so we're not going to escalate over what the line item is. The line item won't go over until the end of June, I promise,” Eddings stated.

The motion failed for lack of a second with many board members stating that they wanted to see the board retain it and make those decisions because they were just not comfortable with it.