Social CIrcle considers changing payroll functions for employees

SOCIAL CIRCLE -- The Social Circle City Council is considering switching to an electronic payroll system, but not all members like the idea.

Council members discussed the option of outsourcing payroll functions to Heartland Payroll System during a work session held on Feb. 9.

At a cost of $4,000 a year, the company would take over responsibilities for issuing paychecks for the city, which employs about 50 people. Under this system, employees would be paid twice a month instead of every week. Their paychecks would be automatically deposited into a bank account. Those who do not have a checking account would be given a debit card that they could use one time each week to withdraw money at no charge.

Some council members raised concerns that the employees would not be happy with these changes.

Councilman Steve Shelton said he has talked with a number of employees and department heads about this, and no one is happy with the prospect of a biweekly pay period.

"I've got to stand with them," Shelton said. "A lot of them live in my district and they voted for me. A lot of them know they can't budget responsibly with two weeks of money sitting in the bank."

Angela Porter, who represents Social Circle's 2nd District, agreed.

"I know a lot of people who will feel like they get paid every two weeks but they are working every week," she said. "Our employees will feel more valued if they're paid every week for their hard work."

Mayor Hal Dally said he understands the concern and acknowledged it would take some adjustment.

"I understand that this will be a huge education issue, but you would be hard-pressed to find a large business anywhere that pays their employees every week," he said.

The next meeting of the City Council will be at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 21 in the Community Room on Hightower Trail.