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Pay raises out for county employees

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By SABRINA GARRETT
The Wilson Post

The proposed payroll plan which would establish pay ranks for Wilson County employees and also an annual one percent step increase for all general fund employees has been put to rest for the time being, Wilson County Finance Director Aaron Maynard announced on Monday night.

The legislation was sent back to the Budget Committee for review after appearing on the floor during the April meeting of the Wilson County Commission and it appears an agreement failed to be reached during the committees May meeting. A pay plan is not Burger King, Maynard said. Everyone cannot have it their way.

As it was developed, with the help of exiting Human Resources Director Alaina Sullivan, the pay table would not have effected any county employees paid above the average market salary but would have used current funds with no tax increases to allow for an annual 1 percent step increase, provided the county meets a 2 percent revenue growth.

The task was massive, Maynard remarked, adding that to be passed it would have required support from at least 13 of the countys 25 commissioners. In April we had a plan that positively affected us.

However, after questions were raised changes made to accommodate concerned commissioners weakened the validity of the plan and a lot of issues were raised that drove the cost higher.

These questions included: Why should a corrections officer that current starts at $27,000 now start at $24,000? Why should 1 percent stop in 20 years? and Is a pay table truly binding?

I do believe that the county could fund a one percent step increase. Without a pay table we cannot help those who are below at the current time, he said. A workable pay plan could help.

District 5 Commissioner Jerry McFarland made a motion to take the $160,000 and change that funds the countys Human Resources Department and earmark it to be used for raises for those county employees who have not received a raise in over two years.

District 14 Commissioner Jeff Joines said that in actuality, some employees have not gotten a raise in seven years and that he offers apologies to county employees but he would not be voting in favor of the motion of the floor.

The motion failed with a 20-4 vote. Commissioners McFarland, Billy Rowland (District 12), Terry Duncan (District 2) and Gary Keith (17) voted yes. District 6 Commissioner Kenny Reich was absent.

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