by: John Bachman Updated:CARROLLTON, Ga.,None —
While some metro Atlanta cities lay off workers, one city is giving $1,000 bonuses to all 300 of its full time employees.
Carrollton Mayor Wayne Garner and city leaders decided to give $300,000 back to city employees.
"We have benchmarks and goals and if employees help us meet goals, then they are rewarded," Garner told Channel 2’s John Bachman.
Carrollton Police Officer Ivey Cataldo is a single mother who said she will really benefit from the bonus because she hasn’t had a raise in several years.
"I see it as a blessing. I have a 2-year-old daughter (it’s) helping me buy Christmas for, and it's also helping me finish school," Cataldo said.
"I'm a taxpayer myself, so of course I like to have things back in my pocket as a taxpayer but I believe we've worked very hard for it and I just want everyone to know we're very appreciative," Cataldo said.
Garner said in four years the city has trimmed its budget by $4 million and has not raised taxes. The city also has a $7 million cash reserve.
Bachman was first tipped off to the story by a viewer upset the city was giving the bonuses instead of giving money back to taxpayers. She wouldn’t speak to Channel 2 on camera but taxpayers Bachman found seemed to back the decision.
"If I was an employee I'd appreciate it and I figure if they've got the money, why not," Carrollton resident Robbi Leeper said.
"As long as they don't start to raise taxes on us because they're trying to pay for that $300,000, that would be an issue," said resident Charles Keith.
Garner said the bonus money is good for Carrollton businesses because most employees will spend it locally during the holiday season.