MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Members of Martinsburg’s City Council will vote later this week on small pay increases for workers in the Berkeley County city.

“I’m sure Council will approve a COLA (cost of living adjustment) of 1.5 percent for all employees across-the-board,” said Martinsburg Mayor George Karos. If approved, the hike would cost the city just more than $139,000.

Merit pay increases, Karos said, are not possible this year as Martinsburg — like many cities in West Virginia — continues to deal with another tight budget.

A more than $1 million surplus from the last fiscal year, he said, is not enough to assuage the fears about future budgets.

“We didn’t fill a lot of vacancies. We’ve taken the recommendation of our finance officer and city manager by not filling these positions,” Karos said. “But we’ve kept all the benefits.”

If approved during Thursday’s meeting of Martinsburg’s City Council, the cost of living adjustments for Martinsburg city workers would be made retroactive to July 1.

Karos was in Harrison County last week for the West Virginia Municipal League’s Annual Conference at the Bridgeport Conference Center.

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  • Yahtzee

    Let's not forget here at end of August there is another vote for continuation of school excess levy 5 years 29 million. But when they were addressing the levy they said there will be no new taxes just a continuation at the same rate. The numbers don't add up. I'm almost positive the last levy was not for 29 million where is the extra coming from? If there is no new taxes? Just a question.

  • Dumb Liberals

    I believe that dying town is governed by liberals, from top to bottom. They have wasted the taxpayers’ dimes on “projects” that did NOTHING to revive the town, yet they continue to throw more taxpayer money at the corpse. Reading the headlines, the town is infested with heroin, crack and a laundry list of other illegal drugs, overdose deaths (not a bad thing by any stretch), alcoholics being imported from outside locations, and an open air marketplace for hookers and thieves.

    The council and mayor have turned the police department into a “line-item” budgetary money maker, making the police meet traffic citation quotas to keep the town monetarily afloat. There seems to be no enforcement actions to stop the crime, but don’t have a burned out tail lamp.

    The only thriving business appears to be the lumber stores, as they are selling plywood hand over fist to board the vacant storefronts up.

    The council’s solution – INCREASE TAXES! Taxing residents and business to prosperity will and has never worked. The only thing missing appears to be the tumble weeds, but patience, they will show up soon. And this bunch wants to garner more power though home rule. They can’t govern now, much less with more power.

    Until the residents vote these liberal leftists out and replace them with competent business thinking individuals, towns like this are doomed to continual failure. Look at the list of failures they have already amassed – Detroit, Chicago, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia, DC, Los Angles, Houston, etc.. All liberal controlled and complete failures and each one infested with inner city trash, uncontrolled crime, and financially destroyed. Yet, liberals continue to repeat the same recipe for disaster and destruction, over and over again.

    • Jonus Grumby

      You don't live here. You haven't got a clue.