Brookhaven City Council voted 3-1 to approve a $26. 3 million budget for 2014.
The split vote on the budget was due to disagreements over how much should be allocated for employee raises. The proposed budget included 4 percent merit increases for city employees, most of which are police officers.
Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams suggested lowering the amount to 3.5 percent.
Councilman Bates Mattison argued that a higher raise would help the city retain its police force.
“I think it’s the wrong message to send to our officers,” Mattison said of taking the number down to 3.5 percent.
Councilman Jim Eyre also supported lower merit increases.
“There’s no doubt whatsoever we support our police officers. This is about being fiscally responsible and consistent with surrounding areas,” Eyre said.
Council voted 3-1 to approve the amended budget with 3.5 percent annual merit increases for city employees.