Archived Story

Giving raises to all leaves questions

Published 12:01am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Nearly lost in this week’s watching and waiting for Hurricane Isaac to arrive was another important “event” in the forecast, one with a long-lasting impact to Adams County’s finances.

County supervisors announced this week plans to pass a budget that offers flat, across-the-board pay increases to most county employees.

Funds for the raises, supervisors said, are available thanks to the retirement of debt.

Supervisors are quick to suggest they haven’t raised their own tax millage — though the school district has — but suggesting that ignores the fact that overall property assessments have gone up in the last three years so the same millage rate costs a taxpayer more money.

Some three years after voters overwhelmingly supported the idea of building a new recreation complex, the plans are still idle.

Instead, rather than either squirrelling away debt retirement savings to fund a recreation complex or paying down other existing debt — such as the millions the county owes for its haphazardly planned road paving — the county will dole out tax money for pay raises.

We don’t doubt that some county employees may need a pay increase, but do all of them?

Besides raises based solely on a flat percentage increase of earnings are not fair to all employees, particularly the ones who are among the lowest paid. If supervisors feel pay levels are out of step, wouldn’t it be a smarter use of taxpayer dollars to offer more to those who earn less?

We hope supervisors will — perhaps at the urging of concerned citizens — reconsider the logic of their budget plan and instead of focusing on the quick, politically popular route, seek to invest long-term in areas voters have high interest in — lower taxes, better roads and a modern recreation facility.

 

  • Anonymous

    All employees deserve reasonable and regular cost of living increases, typically applied as a percentage of the salary they are paid.  Want to save money?  Trim fat.  Paying people reasonable salaries is not fat.  Are there too many employees, and are too few of them doing a really good job?  That’s just another argument entirely.

  • Anonymous

    No worries on rec money.  I sure a big ole fat government grant is right around the corner.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with (spidertheman)…..cost of living raises are needed.  However, as the name implies, a cost of living raise should be spread evenly among the employees evenly.  Some department heads might even be passed over cause they got mid year salary adjustments or are paid much more than the employees they supervise.  Everyone pays the same for gasoline, hambuger meat, paper towels, socks etc.  Therefore, take the politics out this one and make the raises fair to everyone.

  • Anonymous

    And, of course, bypass the justice court clerks who got unearned raises recently. By unearned, I mean they allowed over $1MM of delinquent fines to accumulate within their department – simply not doing their job and get rewarded for that?

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Now,  thats what I’m talking about and far as REDSAIL he needs to produce than keep wanting a raise huh”!!!

  • Anonymous

    START WITH THE JAPANESE WAY OF SAVING> CUTTING-FROM-THE-TOP-DOWN<. EVERY JOB IN THE WORLD HAVE A CHAIN OF COMMAND. NO MATTER HOW MANY PAY RAISES, THE BOTTOM WILL NEVER CATCH UP WITH THE TOP. WITH THAT SAID, A FLAT RATE WILL FEEL GOOD TO THE BOTTOM, AS WELL AS TO THE TOP. WE ALL WORK FOR MUCH LESS THAN WHATS IT'S WORTH.

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Natchez Democrat please write facts and the whole story than untrue statements: as : Some three years ago voters overwhelmingly supporting the building of the recreational complex, and now it sets idle.-This isn’t the whole truth of the story!! During the vote of interest that M. Lazarus said the county had the money to build it without having to raise taxes is why everyone voted that way!! Now thing are economical different now and they  want to tax the taxpayer that if it was brought up for vote as you did on your poll some months ago it was voted down by a large percentage so simple put I believe if it put up for a vote today it would be voted down!!!!

  • Anonymous

    In my opinion, Redsail is doing his job, at least now and for the past months since this issue became public.  The problem stems from the clerks who work in the justice court not producing paperwork and data for the judges (plural) action, and compounded by the fact that these clerks apparently report through the chain of command to the BOS, not the judges.  Thus the BOS themselves deserve LOTS of criticism in letting it happen, not pushing to get anything done about it other than the collection agency and no result reporting from that action.  Additionally, ALL justice court judges are not acting on this issue since as noted before “they don’t want to put poor people in jail”.  I would say, let’s put those particular judges out of office so they can join the ranks of the poor since they, like the clerks, are not doing their job.  I suspect some of the BOS are repressing action also to avoid “putting the poor in jail”.  I also think Redsail has said before the pay of the judges is set and will not be affected by the county raise action.  I hope this clarifies my understanding and answers your questions.

  • Anonymous

    Have not asked for a raise….even though in 21 years there have been two salary adjustments…..yet the number of cases has more than doubled.  Also, work extra hours to collect old fines…..no one else cares.   Extra money helps reduce your and my taxes….what have you done to help??   Walk a mile in my shoes and you will see the problem…..

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    To start have lived in Natchez all my 65 years and worked all kinds of jobs to stay in my home. Selling all our properties in Natchez when God all mighty grabbed our hands with a deal we couldn’t refuse in the professional side of town because of the rocketing taxes and Gestapo government and unfriendly to businesses made our minds up!! If your unhappy with your job why did you ever run??!! Sounds like to me you need to fire some people in your office that are friends or have kin that want collect this over million dollars of fines for we don’t want to hear excuses but to see the money coming in or throw them in jail as other towns do!!!
    a message dated 8/29/2012 3:20:59 P.M. Central Daylight Time, notifications@disqus.net writes:

    (http://disqus.com/)

    Redsail wrote, in response to khakirat:
    Have not asked for a raise….even though in 21 years there have been two salary adjustments…..yet the number of cases has more than doubled. Also, work extra hours to collect old fines…..no one else cares. Extra money helps reduce your and my taxes….what have you done to help?? Walk a mile in my shoes and you will see the problem…..

    _Link to comment_ (http://redirect.disqus.com/url?url=http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2012/08/29/giving-raises-to-all-leaves-questions/#comment-63352014 9:JQ4fWbklrOWcWfIdRI1Z2HdaTa4&imp=7ef49652-4b94-4413-b309-90690f43276c&zone= notifications.clicks&forum=natchezdemocrat&thread=822511397)

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    I still blame the Judge Vess if he know what the problem is in his department and don’t take care of business for he should be at all the BOS meeting complaining and having the ND and WLBT to get the word out all thru out the state!! This will get the attention of whom ever is in charge and should be fired!! This is taxpayers money not the judge or BOS and the public needs action and not talk of who goes to jail!!

    In a message dated 8/29/2012 1:58:25 P.M. Central Daylight Time, notifications@disqus.net writes:

    (http://disqus.com/)

    oldsouthgent wrote, in response to khakirat:
    In my opinion, Redsail is doing his job, at least now and for the past months since this issue became public. The problem stems from the clerks who work in the justice court not producing paperwork and data for the judges (plural) action, and compounded by the fact that these clerks apparently report through the chain of command to the BOS, not the judges. Thus the BOS themselves deserve LOTS of criticism in letting it happen, not pushing to get anything done about it other than the collection agency and no result reporting from that action. Additionally, ALL justice court judges are not acting on this issue since as noted before “they don’t want to put poor people in jail”. I would say, let’s put those particular judges out of office so they can join the ranks of the poor since they, like the clerks, are not doing their job. I suspect some of the BOS are repressing action also to avoid “putting the poor in jail”. I also think Redsail has said before the pay of the judges is set and will not be affected by the county raise action. I hope this clarifies my understanding and answers your questions.
    _Link to comment_ (http://redirect.disqus.com/url?url=http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2012/08/29/giving-raises-to-all-leaves-questions/#comment-63343904 5:x1kElIjB8ex3mw1UKGB-MYwa4P8&imp=8d6ea28b-3145-469e-afde-0e3b271dedf1&zone= notifications.clicks&forum=natchezdemocrat&thread=822511397)

  • Anonymous

    He is one in a system that is broken.  Apparently, the judges are at the mercy of the BOS in their clerical support.  That should be changed so that the judges “supervise” the clerical staff assigned to the court formally rather than informally.  I think all other department heads are “responsible” for their staff – why not the courts?  Also, he is issuing contempt citations which do not appear in the ND as do those in city municipal court.  Judge Dunmore does not.  He cannot tell Dunmore what to do, but her electors can – send her to the house.  On the other hand, those poor people electing her are the ones she is protecting from jail……………….full circle.

  • Anonymous

    Quit blaming him for the job he is doing, blame the others for NOT doing theirs.

  • Anonymous

    With out making your comments a back and forth “tennis match”…..I love my job and the kind people of this community have elected me 6 times.  In your opinion some people need to be fired….and there might be some truth in what you say.   However, many times over the past several months I have tried to point out to you and the community all the staff at justice court are “political appointees” and the judges have to work with who the supervisors assign to them.  So as to your “wrath” right church and wrong pew.  As to the million dollars in uncollected fines…..I am just one person and have done as much as I could as one person to try to collect old fines.  However, again I must point out, it is not my responsibility to set up and collect past due fines….but I do and the county is several thousand dollars richer because of it.  Three years ago the old justice court chief clerk retired. She had employees working for her 12 to 15 years. Because of low pay,  working conditions, and politics many left for other jobs.  Others who were educated were passed over for promotions. Since then the staff has changed and just in the past few months things are starting to click.  I am proud of the job many are doing and when I make a request for court records etc. they assist me.  Don’t get me wrong, there is still a long way to go and only training and experience will make the clerks better able to assist the court and public.  I have made it clear to the supervisors I stand ready to hold more contempt hearings….but to do so I need help.  They know the problem….but again politics get in the way and only they can change the mind-set of “their” employees.  Again…..I like the individual employees, but without support from the BOS things will rock along with a marginal work ethic.  There are many, many more things I could say….but as I said in the beginning I don’t want to make this a back and forth “tennis match”!

  • http://www.natchezdemocrat.com khakirat

    Sounds to me you are making excuse with the statement that it isn’t your responsibility to collect fines being you are titled the Adams county justice court judge then who is the physical Adams county collecter of fines??!! You need to report this to the ND to inform the taxpayers for the arrow points to you!! I know your court ruled that a lawyer owes me several hundred dollars that didn’t even show up in your court that your court said for him to pay the money this has been over ten years and we still haven’t received money owed after calling your office many times during those time with no success !!?? BOS need to get on the ball from what your claiming which this would be a great story for the ND to check your story out to get the facts!! The taxpayers would like to know the facts of your story!!!!

    In a message dated 8/30/2012 9:39:10 A.M. Central Daylight Time, notifications@disqus.net writes:

    (http://disqus.com/)

    Redsail wrote, in response to khakirat:
    With out making your comments a back and forth “tennis match”…..I love my job and the kind people of this community have elected me 6 times. In your opinion some people need to be fired….and there might be some truth in what you say. However, many times over the past several months I have tried to point out to you and the community all the staff at justice court are “political appointees” and the judges have to work with who the supervisors assign to them. So as to your “wrath” right church and wrong pew. As to the million dollars in uncollected fines…..I am just one person and have done as much as I could as one person to try to collect old fines. However, again I must point out, it is not my responsibility to set up and collect past due fines….but I do and the county is several thousand dollars richer because of it. Three years ago the old justice court chief clerk retired. She had employees working for her 12 to 15 years. Because of low pay, working conditions, and politics many left for other jobs. Others who were educated were passed over for promotions. Since then the staff has changed and just in the past few months things are starting to click. I am proud of the job many are doing and when I make a request for court records etc. they assist me. Don’t get me wrong, there is still a long way to go and only training and experience will make the clerks better able to assist the court and public. I have made it clear to the supervisors I stand ready to hold more contempt hearings….but to do so I need help. They know the problem….but again politics get in the way and only they can change the mind-set of “their” employees. Again…..I like the individual employees, but without support from the BOS things will rock along with a marginal work ethic. There are many, many more things I could say….but as I said in the beginning I don’t want to make this a back and forth “tennis match”!
    _Link to comment_ (http://redirect.disqus.com/url?url=http://www.natchezdemocrat.com/2012/08/29/giving-raises-to-all-leaves-questions/#comment-63436565 3:YgiDMyg2gYbdZN5i641Js1c1ACY&imp=a0e17fc6-84c0-41f1-b565-6259962c81a6&zone= notifications.clicks&forum=natchezdemocrat&thread=822511397)