"This is the first year that they have not received a 3 percent raise," she said. "It was very hard not to give them that, but we just didn't have it in the budget."
With the tight budget, Barry said she will make improvement of basic services — streets and public safety — her primary focus.
In the meantime, she said Meridianites can help bring sales tax revenue back up by doing their shopping here in town, and encouraging others to shop here as well.
"This is how we serve the people of Meridian, with these tax dollars," she said. "Shop in Meridian. Take advantage our specialty shops and boutiques, and you can help get our sales tax revenue back where we need it."
Top 15 salaries in the city:
1. Ed Skipper: Director of Finance and Records/City Clerk - $89,252.80
2. Don Farrar: Director of Community Development - $88,545.60
3. Monty Jackson: Director of Public Works - $86,611.20
4. Mark McDonald: Chief Administrative Officer - $85,000
5. Cheri Barry: Mayor/Chief Executive Officer - $80,000
6. Gary Matlock: Human Resources Director - $79,788.80
7. Anthony Clayton: Fire Chief - $75,000
8. Tim Miller: Homeland Security Director - $75,000
9. Lee Shelbourn: Chief of Police - $75,000
10. Jeff Homan: Director of Governmental and Legislative Affairs - $74,900.80
11. Leigh Barber: Assistant Director, Finance and Records - $68,972.80
12. Mark Naylor: Parks and Recreation Director - $68,910.40
13. Don Jemison: Planning Manager - $65,457.60
14. Tommy Irby: Assistant Public Works Director, Operations - $65,374.40
15 Kirk ThompsonTemporary, Executive Advisor to the Mayor — $65,000
Source: City of Meridian
Other salaries of interest
Entry Level Police Officer: $25,188.80
Entry Level Firefighter: $23,927.90
Two of the city councilmen must take a pay reduction because they are former teachers drawing on state retirement. The council president also makes $2,000 more than other councilmen.
Jesse E. Palmer, Sr. (state retirement): $4,798.32
Mary A.B. Perry (state retirement): $9,636.24
George Thomas: $20,000
Barbara Henson: $20,000
Bobby Smith (council president): $22,000