Cooleemee Mayor Donates Salary To Save Guard’s Job

Published 12:00 am Monday, July 11, 2011

By Jackie Seabolt
Enterprise Record

Cooleemee board members unanimously approved the 2011-2012 budget at last months meeting and were able to keep the school crossing guard position with the same amount of pay after the mayor offered a donation of her own money.
The proposed budget had included cutting the $4,600 part-time crossing guard job, but the board agreed it was a “very vital position” the town needs to keep.
Commissioner Chris Branham said, “The duty needs to stay there. It was never an intention of mine to get rid of the position.”
Branham suggested moving funds from budget items like minimum housing or reducing the recreation department employees hours in the winter months to help fund the school guard position.
At one point Town Clerk John Chandler offered to cut his hours to 35 per week to help provide funding for the position.
The board unanimously agreed to lower two budget items, code enforcement and community affairs, $2,000 each, but were still $600 short of the crossing guard’s $4,600 salary.
“I will make a $600 donation of my salary,” Mayor Lynn Rumley said. “That way John [Chandler] can stay at 40 hours a week …