Fayetteville Police Voted Off Council's Agenda
Posted May 16, 1999 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — Fayetteville's police officers are among the lowest-paid in the state. Monday night, they planned to make their case to the city and ask for a raise.
More than a hundred officers packed the hall for the council meeting, but the two men representing Fayetteville police officers were voted off the agenda. Afterwards, those who showed up were furious.
Police officers turned their backs on city council members and left in unison after learning that their two representatives would not be allowed to speak.
"It's a big slap in the face. This is like showing exactly how much we're worth. Definitely not market value in this city, and that's why we're losing a lot of people. And we're going to continue. You're going to see a lot more go," said Sgt. Kevin Voss.
Fayetteville officers start at just under $23,000 a year. That is less than both Raleigh and Durham and among the lowest in the state's biggest cities. Thirteen officers have left the department since January because of low pay.
"It's very disappointing. We were hoping they would at least discuss it tonight. It disappointed a lot of us," said Officer Wayne Huff.
"Pretty much, they didn't want to hear what we had to say. That was pretty much what it was. They kind of just blew us off which they've been doing the whole time," said Officer Tabitha Adkins.
Despite the anger at Monday night's events, police representatives said there would be no work stoppage or blue flu.
"These officers tonight are going to go out and work the streets. They're going to go out there in the morning. They're all going to go back to their jobs and continue working," said Randall Bartay, president of the Police Association.
Some city council members thought the vote was a bad move.
"When a man signs up to speak, once he is on the agenda, he should be able to speak. I think we should have given him time to hear what he had to say," said Councilman Don Talbot.
Council members who voted the police representatives off the agenda basically said it was inappropriate to hear from them until the city manager presented his pay raise proposal.