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Mount Shasta community members defend police pay increase

(KTVL/ Kimberly Kolliner){ }{ }

The Mount Shasta Police Department union and the city council is still at odds when it comes to proper compensation.

Monday night, the union spoke before the council to persuade them into raising their pay by 10 percent rather than the two percent council offered up and now the community is getting involved.

News 10 spoke with the only community member who showed up to the meeting in defense of the police department, 35 year resident Todd Cory.

"This is the most expensive community in Siskiyou County to live in and the pay scale for the law enforcement officers is the lowest in the county," said Cory.

To be exact it's more than $4 lower than the next closest police department.

"Several law enforcement officers have had to leave the area or have gone to other parts of the county because the pay is higher," said Cory.

Mount Shasta City Manager, Bruce Pope says, there isn't enough money in the general fund to support a 10 percent increase in pay for police.

"Our present budget shows two percent for all employees, including police, and that budget is a little over $50,000 upside down," said Pope.

Pope says not only would it create a greater deficit, but the question of fairness would also come into play.

"If we were to offer more to the police department one would ask, ‘why did you give more to the police department than you did say public works?'" said Pope.

Cory’s significant other, Pam Cundy, a 6 year resident, says she doesn’t think the financial strain now will compensate for the financial strain of training a whole new staff later and losing what makes their community special.

"[Officer] Frank pulled me over and he said ‘you're not from around here are you?’ I said no I just moved here, he said ‘well little lady we don't do rolling stops in the community’," said Cundy.

That was Cundy's first and only run in with law enforcement since moving here in 2011.

"You're supposed to stop at the stop sign, and he gave me a warning. That's the way they do things. They give you a warning, they help you, they train you. As much as they're trained, the community is trained too, and losing all that is like losing the history they carry," said Cundy.

City council has called for a closed session discussion on the matter, which is to take place on January 8th.

It's then they hope to come up with an agreement with the union.

Todd Cory and the Mount Shasta community take pride in protecting their city and environment.

He says they do what they can to help out law enforcement through the group Clean and Safe Mount Shasta.

"We volunteer and we go out into the forest and we clean up the messes and then we take it to the landfill," said Cory.

The group was started last year and has received overwhelming support during scheduled clean ups.

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