Sullivan County leaders' pay increase on agenda

J. H. Osborne • Apr 15, 2007 at 11:33 AM

BLOUNTVILLE -A pay raise for commissioners is on the agenda again Monday for the Sullivan County Commission.

The effort to up commissioners' pay from $275 per month to $500 per month - with an automatic increase beginning in July 2008 - failed by one vote last month. It needed 16 votes - or a two-thirds majority from the 24-member Commission.

But this month it is considered "old business" and can gain passage with a simple majority of 13 votes.

Commissioners last received a pay raise in September 2002.

Commissioner O.W. Ferguson introduced the proposed raise to $500 last month. He said other commissioners asked him to do it.

When the full commission was about to vote on the proposal last month, Ferguson accepted an amendment to his resolution to tie county commissioners' pay to the county mayor's pay, effective July 2008. That amendment, offered by Commissioner Wayne McConnell, calls for each commissioner's annual pay to equal 7 percent of the county mayor's pay.

The salary of the county mayor, like other constitutional officers in the county - including sheriff and county clerk - is set by state guidelines and automatically increases whenever, and however much, state employees' pay increases.

Based on the county mayor's current pay, McConnell said, each commissioner would receive $534.17 per month under his proposal.

But that figure will be out of date as of July 1 when the county mayor's salary is set to increase by about $4,500 to more than $96,000. Seven percent of $96,000 per year would be $560 per month. And that figure could increase again by July 2008.

The Sullivan County Commission is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. Monday on the second floor of the historic Sullivan County Courthouse.

For more information about Sullivan County government, including how to contact individual commissioners, visit www.sullivancounty.org.

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