Sullivan commissioners seek pay raise from $275 to $500 per month

J. H. Osborne • Mar 7, 2007 at 6:00 AM

BLOUNTVILLE - Sullivan County commissioners may be about to give themselves a pay raise.

Commissioners O.W. Ferguson, Buddy King and Bill Kilgore have introduced a resolution to raise commissioners' pay from $275 per month to $500 per month.

It's been more than four years since commissioners last got a raise.

Prior to September 2002, commissioners were paid on a per-meeting basis - they got paid a set amount for each meeting they actually attended.

Beginning that month, by a commission vote that took place more than a year earlier, the pay for commissioners was set at a fixed $275 per month.

They get paid the same amount whether or not they attend meetings.

They don't receive any additional payment for mileage to and from their home and meetings in Blountville, said Gayvern Moore, payroll and personnel manager for the county.

Commissioners are not eligible and do not receive county employee health insurance or retirement, Moore said, but they have the option of buying a life insurance policy as a county employee.

Moore said each of the county's 24 commissioners is paid on the last day of each month.

The resolution from Ferguson, King and Kilgore calls for the pay raise to be effective on passage by the full County Commission.

That could come as early as March 19 if the commission chooses to vote on the matter the first time it appears on the agenda.

That would require a waiver of the rules and 16 votes in favor of the pay raise. If they wait until it's considered "old business," on the April agenda, it can pass with only 13 votes in favor.

The County Commission's eight-member Administrative Committee unanimously endorsed the proposal Monday night.

It could be discussed tonight by the commission's Executive Committee and Thursday night by the commission's Budget Committee.

"Whereas, Sullivan County Commissioners should receive compensation commensurate with that of other counties of comparable size," the commission pay hike resolution reads, in part.

For comparison, it lists the following:

•Shelby County, $2,550 per month.

•Davidson County, $1,250 per month.

•Knox County, $1,620.52 per month.

•Hamilton County, $1,626.67 per month.

•Rutherford County, $300 per meeting.

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