Budget proposes pay raise for county employees

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 30, 2000

Some county employees say they are &uot;holding their breath&uot; waiting to see if they will get a pay increase this year.

The Adams County Board of Supervisors has included an 8- to 10-percent increase for county employees in the proposed budget for the upcoming year.

But the decision is not final until after public hearings and a final vote Tuesday, Sept. 12.

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Last year, supervisors eliminated a pay raise at the last minute to cut a proposed tax increase of 3.66 mills to 1.17 mills.

It was &uot;a big letdown,&uot; said Tammy Gunter, a deputy clerk in Adams County Justice Court who said she was holding her breath hoping that would not happen this year. &uot;I just hope the best for everybody,&uot; she said.

About 200 people work for the county, and they have not received a cost of living increase in three years.

Supervisors finalized a tax proposal on Wednesday that includes a 1.95 mill increase for taxpayers.

About $350,000 of this year’s budget covers the cost of the employee raises, said Supervisor Sammy Cauthen.

Cauthen said the salary increase equals about $350,000 to $360,000 of the county budget.

In the future, Cauthen said he thinks the board should look at giving merit-based increases to the employees and not give across the board raises, adding he approves of the cost of living increase for county employees this year.

Justice Clerk Betty Stiles also said she thinks the county employees needed the increase.

&uot;The cost of living has certainly gone up,&uot; Stiles said.

But Stiles said she is not worried the board members may cut the increase again this year.

&uot;I’m not the kind if person that worries about things like that,&uot; she said. &uot;I know they’ll do what they can for us.&uot;

Justice Court Judge Charles Vess, is not paid by the county, but he said thinks the court employees deserve an increase.

As someone who works in Justice Court, Vess said the demands of the job have increased and the demands of working with the public.

&uot;We don’t have many happy customers come in here,&uot; Gunter said. &uot;If they come in here they’ve been in trouble, or been arrested or somebody’s (treated) them wrong.&uot;