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Kenneth City chief settles pay dispute

(ran West edition)

The city will give him a lump sum and bump his salary by $316 a month. Still unclear is his job security.

The Town Council agreed Wednesday to settle its salary dispute with the police chief.

Kenneth City will pay Tom Webster a lump sum of $3,500 and increase his salary about $3,800 a year. The chief will earn another $316 a month, and his annual base pay will increase from $51,875 to $55,675.

In turn, Webster must sign an agreement releasing the town from any possible liability related to the situation.

Webster and the council originally had disagreed over past raises. Webster contended that the council had wrongly withheld raises over a period dating to 1997.

Webster said his contract guaranteed him at least the same raises that other city employees received.

Each year, the 12 officers Webster has supervised have received 3 percent or more annually and on the anniversary of their employment. Webster, however, was refused a raise one year and given only a small raise another year, despite favorable job evaluations.

Council members made the decision without comment. Nor did they comment on the chief's job security.

The council earlier this year refused to renew his contract. That means Webster's job is up on Sept. 25 unless the council and the chief agree otherwise.

Thus far, no negotiations have occurred.

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