Columbus city officials without pay for three weeks with new system

(Source: Chandler Morgan/WTVM)
(Source: Chandler Morgan/WTVM)
(Source: Chandler Morgan/WTVM)
(Source: Chandler Morgan/WTVM)
(Source: Chandler Morgan/WTVM)
(Source: Chandler Morgan/WTVM)

COLUMBUS, GA - "This has made my life really stressful," says Columbus City Council Member representing Post 8, Walker Garrett.

Columbus city leaders moving forward in replacing an outdated software system with a new payroll conversion plan.

Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says the new system moves all employees to a bi-weekly payroll versus a mix of weekly and bi-weekly pay periods.

The switch in the system, city officials say has left them without a paycheck since July 28.

"Constituents are upset city employees. Judges and elected officials are upset," says Garrett.

Multiple government employees shared their concerns at recent council meetings saying they fear of losing a paycheck when switching to the system.

July 25 city council voted to approve 40-hour bonus checks for city employees in August at a cost of $785,000.

"Elected officials were excluded from the bonus program," says Garrett. "I think the general assumption on council was that it applied to us because obviously, we didn't want to vote ourselves a bonus. I don't think anyone had any idea this was going to apply to folks who have a statutorily set salary."

Muscogee County Sheriff Donna Tompkins tells News Leader 9, elected officials in Columbus received an official email the morning of August 17 stating elected officials are scheduled to receive a paycheck August 18, and again on August 31.

From then on, elected officials will be paid once a month.

Former Columbus Mayor and Honorable Judge Bobby Peters says, "He doesn't mind the transition and is happy the payment issues will be resolved."

The first biweekly paycheck, once the system is in effect, will be on August 18 for all government employees.

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