Clinton city employees will find a $100 bonus in their Christmas stockings this year courtesy of the City Council.

Five council members were present at noon Tuesday for a special meeting to talk about Christmas bonuses.

Mayor Roger Rorie said he had discussed a couple of options with Councilman Johnny Moore who was not present at the meeting. He said the options they discussed were either a $100 bonus or a $50 bonus along with a city-hosted party for employees and families.

Councilwoman Wendy Russ said she has been asking some workers which they would prefer and said most told her they would prefer the money. The party is a way to promote fellowship, Russ said. However, she said, in the past she has noticed that people tend to mostly visit with their department co-workers.

Rorie said the time is short to organize a Christmas gathering anyway.

The mayor said the city has 25-30 employees. The council voted unanimously to scratch the party and hand out $100 bonuses.

Councilman Sam Ward said when he was helping at the fire department’s haunted house in October he got the feeling the volunteer firefighters felt left out. He asked if the city could give each volunteer a $100 bonus as well.

Rorie said he liked the idea but cautioned that "once you start it, there’s no stopping it."

Councilman Jason Lynch, who is a volunteer firefighter, said the members receive $400-$500 for clothing allowances currently. He said the firefighters don’t do what they do for the money, but he knew the "guys would appreciate it."

Lynch, Russ and Ward all said they would abstain on a vote because of ties to the department. Russ’s husband and Ward’s son are firefighters. That left only two councilwomen to vote. The mayor can vote only to break a tie. The council decided to leave that issue for its regular meeting, which is Dec. 12.

The councilors also decided that they would hold their first meeting on the 2014 budget after the Dec. 12 meeting. Both meetings are open to the public.