Pay Raise Request Was Predictable

Commissioners Brad Crews and Hank Hobbs saw it coming.
At the October meeting of the Jeff Davis County Board of Commissioners, Crews and Hobbs had reservations about granting pay increases for the Tax Assessors Office employees, pointing out that no other county employees had gotten pay increases, except the road department which had been promised a pay raise the previous year. Of the $18,660 budget increase for the Tax Assessors office approved by the commission on a 4-1 vote, $11,000 was to go to increase salaries for two employees.
Crews’ and Hobbs’ reservations proved prophetic as, at last week’s November meeting, Clerk of Court Julie Wilkinson came before the board and asked that her department’s budget be amended to add $10,000 to increase the pay of her deputy clerks.
Wilkinson pointed out that the line item “salaries for deputy clerks” was set at $79,000. She asked that it be increased to $89,000, the same amount that was in the 2016-17 budget. In the 2017-18 budget year, the amount was cut to $79,000 because Wilkinson had lost an employee.
Wilkinson pointed out that in the October meeting the commissioners had amended the budget for another office (Tax Assessors office) and she felt the proposal she had made earlier this year could be granted to her office.
Commission Chairman Ricky Crosby asked Wilkinson to wait 3-4 months when the commission will be working on next year’s budget and include the increase then.
When Crosby explained that the budget amendment for the Tax Assessors office had already been discussed previously, Wilkinson responded, “I’ve requested this for the last three years and it has been denied. I see the need for an increase for my deputy clerks.”
Crosby responded, “You will have to wait until the next budget year.”
In other action, the commissioners ….
…. discussed a contract between Jeff Davis Emergency Medical Service and ProCare Services for heart monitors. Crews made a motion to approve the contract “if it’s related to the welfare of the citizens of our county.” But after some discussion, Crews withdrew his motion and the commissioners voted to table the matter to next month to have someone from EMS to explain the contract.
…. approved the purchase of a 2014 truck for $14,000 for the Recreation Department.
…. approved accepting bids for fencing at the Hwy. 341 Recreation Sports Complex.
…. approved an amendment to the county’s 5% hotel/motel tax ordinance to distribute 3% to the Board of Tourism and 2% to the Chamber of Commerce.
…. approved accepting bids for the purchase of a rollback truck for solid waste.
…. agreed to purchase for $15,000 the fully equipped modular building located at the old Enmark station for the recreation department to be used for concessions at the Hwy. 341 Sports Complex to be paid from Special Purpose Location Option Sales Tax.

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