KEYSER - Keyser City employees will receive a 1 percent raise, and Keyser City Police will receive a flat $1.50 raise, as of Jan. 1.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newsribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newsribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Keyser City employees will receive a 1 percent raise, and Keyser City Police will receive a flat $1.50 raise, as of Jan. 1.
Then, beginning in 2019, those employees will begin receiving an annual 1 percent raise on their hire anniversary.
The plan was proposed by city administrator Randy Amtower, at the request of the council members who said they felt the city’s employees deserved a raise.
Amtower said he designed the longevity raise as a means of giving employees an incentive to remain in their jobs as they look forward to the annual raises.
The subject of employee raises has been on the officials’ radar for some time, as they searched for a way to entice city employees to stay in their jobs for awhile, as opposed to getting hired and trained, then moving on to another entity that pays higher wages.
This has especially been a problem with the police department, which has paid to put new employees through the expensive training academy, only to see them leave quickly for better-paying jobs with the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office or Potomac State College Campus Police.
The process of rehiring and training can also be a lengthy and expensive one for the water and sewer departments.
“If we lose one police officer, what do we lose? We’re six months before we can put another officer on the street,” Amtower said.
“If I lose a plant operator, it’s a year, 11 months and two weeks before I have a (licensed) plant operator.”
Amtower warned the officials, however, as they considered the raises, that it would not come without a price.
“It means being even more frugal,” he said.
“Just like with your own household budget, you don’t want to over live your means … and we’re getting close,” he said.
In fact, the council’s discussion of the fate of the Keyser swimming pool, which came just prior to the discussion of raises, came down to a choice, according to Amtower: “You can’t do both.”
The council voted to not open the pool this coming summer.
Council member Jennifer Junkins made the motion to give the employees a raise and start the longevity plan, and Eric Murphy seconded it.
The motion passed 4-0, with member Sonny Alt sitting in for an ill mayor Ed Miller.


Then, beginning in 2019, those employees will begin receiving an annual 1 percent raise on their hire anniversary.
The plan was proposed by city administrator Randy Amtower, at the request of the council members who said they felt the city’s employees deserved a raise.
Amtower said he designed the longevity raise as a means of giving employees an incentive to remain in their jobs as they look forward to the annual raises.
The subject of employee raises has been on the officials’ radar for some time, as they searched for a way to entice city employees to stay in their jobs for awhile, as opposed to getting hired and trained, then moving on to another entity that pays higher wages.
This has especially been a problem with the police department, which has paid to put new employees through the expensive training academy, only to see them leave quickly for better-paying jobs with the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office or Potomac State College Campus Police.
The process of rehiring and training can also be a lengthy and expensive one for the water and sewer departments.
“If we lose one police officer, what do we lose? We’re six months before we can put another officer on the street,” Amtower said.
“If I lose a plant operator, it’s a year, 11 months and two weeks before I have a (licensed) plant operator.”
Amtower warned the officials, however, as they considered the raises, that it would not come without a price.
“It means being even more frugal,” he said.
“Just like with your own household budget, you don’t want to over live your means … and we’re getting close,” he said.
In fact, the council’s discussion of the fate of the Keyser swimming pool, which came just prior to the discussion of raises, came down to a choice, according to Amtower: “You can’t do both.”
The council voted to not open the pool this coming summer.
Council member Jennifer Junkins made the motion to give the employees a raise and start the longevity plan, and Eric Murphy seconded it.
The motion passed 4-0, with member Sonny Alt sitting in for an ill mayor Ed Miller.