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County denies request for raises

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors denied a request to give a $3,000 pay raise to justice court employees at Monday’s regular board meeting.

The discussion of the raises was originally in executive session, but the meeting returned to open session when it was determined the matter was public information.

Justice Court Clerk Audrey Bailey first requested in January that $18,000 in raises be spread among the justice court employees.

Bailey said, at a Jan. 19 meeting, justice court is collecting more money from fines and fees than in the past and working with one less employee than usual.

She said she would like some of the extra money in this year’s $375,000 budget to be dispersed as raises.

The request was denied when a motion to accept the request by District 3 Supervisor Thomas “Boo” Campbell died due to lack of a second.

Watts said the board discussed possibly using the $18,000 to buy and install security cameras in area where money is collected in the county. These areas include justice court, sanitation office, the supervisors’ office and payroll office, for instance, Watts said.

Watts said the board also denied the request because the justice court department did not request raises in their budget, and since the county will soon be in budgeting season, they have the opportunity to include raises in next year’s budget.

In other news from Monday’s meeting:

According to the county’s redistricting advisor, Bill Rigby, Adams County may not have to redistrict.

Rigby said since the county does not need to include the population of the inmates at Adams County Correctional Center, as per an attorney general’s opinion, it may not have to redistrict.

Rigby said Adams County’s variance is right around 10 percent, which is the indicating percentage to determine a county must redistrict.

Rigby also said if the county does redistrict, it should continue with its 2011 elections before gaining preclearance for the new district lines from the justice department.

“There, is a very good reason, if its possible, to run on existing lines in November,” Rigby said.

Rigby said it would take 60 days for justice department clearance and 60 days for public hearings, which would mean the county would need its new lines drawn within a week in order to have elections with the new lines.

“You are not the only county to decide to wait (to redistrict),” Rigby said.

• Resident John Seyfarth suggested to the board the road department has been improperly filling potholes, because the gravel filler does not stay in place.

Seyfarth also addressed the board about the expense of funding recreation and said the taxpayers, especially retirees on a fixed income, should not have to foot the bill.

“Natchez is supposed to be a retirement community; several people tell me they moved because taxes are high,” Seyfarth said.

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