County officials have mixed reactions to pay plan

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 17, 2013

At least two county officials have mixed feelings on new pay plan – with one stating he’s “discouraged about the lack of public debate” on the plan.

Sheriff Dennis Meeks said he is pleased with the way his department is represented in the classification/pay scale plan adopted Wednesday by the county commission.

The plan consists of a schedule of pay rates from minimum to maximum assigned to each class. Commissioners also approved a policy to handle promotions, transfers, demotions, cost of living adjustments, overtime, safety incentive pay and direct deposit for pay for all employees, as well as an on-call procedures and pay for the road department.

“You’ve got to have a starting point,” Meeks said. “I think it will work out once it gets implemented and rolling. The county has tried for years to implement one. I think (Chairman Bill Godwin) did a good job.”

Meeks said the plan gives between 2 percent and 4 percent pay increases for his employees.

But Probate Judge Ben Bowden said Wednesday he was disappointed suggestions he gave to the commission were not implemented. Bowden said he plans to address his concerns at a later date.

“I am discouraged by the lack of public debate on such a significant change in county administration; however, the law places the responsibility on the county commission to determine salary and wages of county employees,” Bowden said. “The only thing I can do is provide advice and input when asked.”

Commissioners have agreed to revisit the plan in six months to determine its effectiveness. At present, county employees have not been told where they fit within the 15-step plan.