With the first budget "work session" set for next Wednesday, Cheyenne Mayor Marian Orr hopes the 2019 spending plan will include the final phase of pay raises for city employees earning less than minimum market wages.

Under Orr's administration, 95 percent of employees have been brought up to at least the minimum pay rate as determined by the Employee Investment Survey.

Orr's Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposal -- which was submitted to the governing body on Friday -- brings the remaining 5 percent up to at least minimum market.

"Public Works earned a gold star," said Orr. "Department head Vicky Nemecek has seen to it that every member of that department is now at, or above, minimum EIS."

"Through attrition and retirements we’ve been able to increase hourly wages for our newest members of the team, as well as recognize and compensate supervisors appropriately," Orr added.

Orr says Youth Alternatives, however, is far below minimum market wages, and she's asking the council to increase employee wages within the department.

"This program is critical to being on the front-line to assist with on-site counseling to our schools in times of crisis, diverting youth from incarceration and partnering community leaders as mentors to youth through the Special Friends program," said Orr.

"We must be either all-in, providing at least minimum to mid-wage range, or divest the city of this program," Orr added. "I believe this is a service that works with, and not in competition, with our local youth providers."

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