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Resident questions fire chief's pay raise

By By Fredie Carmichael/The Meridian Star
Dec. 19, 2001
About 50 Meridian Firefighters and other city workers rose to their feet and burst into applause at the Tuesday city council meeting when a Meridian resident questioned a 15 percent pay raise for the fire chief.
Bill McBride also raised questions about Triple III Corp., a nonprofit company that will oversee a multi-state transportation safety center. McBride, who regularly attends council meetings, ran for mayor earlier this year.
Mayor John Robert Smith gave Fire Chief Bunky Partridge a raise in October, moving his annual salary from $54,329 to $62,329. City leaders said in September they couldn't afford to give city employees a raise.
McBride told the council that when he sought explanation for the raise elected officials gave him several responses. He said one was that Partridge raise was because of his role as vice president of Triple III.
Another answer McBride said he received from city officials was that Partridge got the pay raise to keep him from taking a job in Hattiesburg.
Fredie Carmichael is a staff writer for The Meridian Star. Call him at 693-1551, ext. 3228, or e-mail him at