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Mountain Lakes Amphitheater

In this weeks edition:

Elected Officials pay rises…
I finally had some time to do some research regarding the pay raises elected officials are poised to take. Frankly, what I have found is disturbing. Bear in mind that the County Commission built a pay raise into this coming year’s budget. The Auditor has said it won’t bankrupt the County to give elected officials this raise. Of course he didn’t say what would have to be cut if revenue projects don’t hold true.
Two office holders will not be eligible for this raise as they opted not to take the last one and are thereby obligated for their entire term. They are Sheriff Eddie Williams and Commissioner Gary Ellyson.
As the code reads the County and Circuit Clerk will see their salary go from $49,500 to $55,440, The Assessor will rise from $42,900 to $48,048. The Assessor also gets a supplemental pay from a different fund which puts their salary above that of the clerks. At this writing I haven’t looked that part up. The Prosecuting Attorney’s pay will increase from $59,400 to $66,528. The Commissioners who are the only elected officials who are considered part-time, will go from $28,380 to $31,786.
Next year when the County moves to Class V because of the increase in taxes that most of us will undergo, the raises are even larger. Commissioners will be paid $38,438: The County and Circuit Clerks will make $59,136 each: The Assessor will only see their salary increase to $48,418, but remember the supplemental pay. The Prosecuting Attorney will see the largest increase to $98,336.
When you total all that up… it becomes quite a large sum of money. On top of that is the fringe benefits i.e. taxes, unemployment, retirement etc. I imagine that will add another 25 to 40 percent to the total.
Now even though the Sheriff and Commissioner Ellyson have opted not to take their raises, I don’t think they will have an option with the classification change.
I am not opposed to increase wages. However, I can’t justify a 26% for the County Commissioners over two years. I am also concerned as to how the county will come up with this money. I have heard estimates of how much these huge tax raises will generate in tax revenue… will it be enough to give $1,000 across the board raises to all county employees and pay the elected officials what they will be making? I don’t know the answer to that question yet.

Will return soon...


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