The eight county elected officers — treasurer, sheriff, clerk, assessor, court clerk and the three commissioners — have the authority, as the Budget Board, to raise salaries for the 1,700 county employees.
The County Commission — Vaughn, Brian Maughn and Willa Johnson — have authority to raise the salaries for themselves and the other five elected officials. Vaughn and Maughn both said they opposed the notion; Johnson said she needed more information.
Money for raises for county employees is to come from money already in the county budget, Freeman said. The raises are expected to cost $554,861 for the balance of the fiscal year, which ends on June 30.
Maughn said county salaries are lagging, in part because employees have absorbed increased health care costs.
“It coincides with this tax cut falling off but in reality we're addressing a long-term problem that I've been grappling with the last four years,” he said.