City leaders vote down historic pay raises in West Memphis

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — There was a heated exchange of words during Thursday's City Council meeting in West Memphis, Arkansas.

The issue up for discussion is pay raises for the West Memphis Police and Fire Department.

Mayor Marco McClendon says it's been in the works for months, but it took seconds for council members to decide against moving forward with the proposal.

The mayor let his disapproval be known.

"You had months to get this approved, moved things back," he said.

Councilman James Pulliam fired back.

"I don't care how long you been working on it. It's when it came to us," he said.

Pulliam says the proposal was just presented to full council two weeks ago. He says that's not enough time to decide on what the mayor says would have been the largest pay raise in the city's history.

Others also chimed in and said because several council members were absent, putting things on pause is what's best.

"Because we have five council people where you don't know the views of them," Councilman H.W. Croom said.

However, the view from Mayor McClendon is clear. "I'm going to do everything not to accept no."

But council members contend that they aren't saying no, just not yet.

The pay proposal for city workers is tentatively set to go back before the City Council on August 1.

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