American Rescue Plan Act

For Immediate Release
FROM: Dr. James Hart Interim-City Manager
SUBJECT: American Rescue Plan Act – Employee Back Compensation

The Mayor and Council under the recommendation of Interim City Manager Dr. James Hart voted unanimously to lift the 2-year employee compensation freeze that was enacted in the Summer of 2020, 1 year in advance of the proposed schedule.

The employee compensation freezes were part of an effort to prevent potential lay-offs and staffing cutbacks due to declining tax revenues as related to the Covid-19 Pandemic. On Monday the Council voted to lift the employee compensation freezes and backfill a portion of employee revenue losses by utilizing funds from the American Rescue Plan (ARPA).

“Due to Federal stimulus funds allocated through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and the Council’s ability to prioritize expenditures, I am proud to announce that the City Council authorized using a portion of funds to lift compensation freezes imposed due to revenue reductions during the Covid-19 pandemic and replace a portion of the revenues that were lost during the Fiscal Year 20/21,” stated Interim City Manager Dr. Jim Hart.

“It’s very satisfying to have lifted this compensation freeze and make employees whole 1 year in advance of what was originally anticipated.”

“Since taking office in December of 2020, I was informed of the employee compensation freezes that went into effect last summer to stave off potential layoffs and cutbacks due to the Covid19 Pandemic; making our employees whole became a top priority,” stated Mayor Paul Anthony Courtney.

“The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) has helped us to undo the former agreement 1 year in advance of the original timetable, and I applaud the efforts of our Interim City Manager Jim Hart alongside this Council in making certain that our employees understand our commitment and appreciation for them, and our community recognizes the hard-work of the city employees who maintained critical services during these unprecedented times.” “As President of the Unit-6 Management Association Group, I am extremely proud of our Mayor Dr. Paul Anthony Courtney and Council in approving the decision to backfill employee revenue losses for 20/21,” stated Chris Heldreth Unit-6 President.

“We understood the economic impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and recognized the need to prevent possible layoffs; I want to thank those in Unit 6 for their continuous dedication in making certain that City operations continued to meet the needs of our residents, but more importantly that we proved the resolve of our Unit to pull together during these tough times.” “I would like to thank the City Manager, Mayor, and Council Members for taking the opportunity to use the American Rescue Plan Act funds to make all of our employees whole,” stated Barstow Police Management Association President Chris Kirby. “There are plenty of ways to say “thank you” which is absolutely what our membership wants to do as we continue to work together to provide the essential services to keep our community safe.”

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