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County officials discuss pay scale
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In an effort to get the ball rolling on a pay-scale agreement for county employees, the budget committee met with county officials and members of their staffs Tuesday night to discuss the matter.While everyone involved agreed that a wage scale based on years of service needs to be established, some elected officials oppose the idea of enacting a system of job classification.All employees of the elected officials at the courthouse and county complex currently receive $23,024 per year, except for one employee in the assessor of property's office who receives $28,579.This employee uses his personal vehicle for county business while viewing property to be assessed, and is responsible for his own expenses on the vehicle that surpass the rate for mileage, 47 cents per mile.Employees of the mayor's office receive pay for extra duties in working with grants.While County Mayor Mike Foster voiced his preference for a job classification system, other elected officials expressed a desire to begin a step-increase plan based on years of service this year, and table the job classification discussion until an independent study can be done on the matter.The budget committee members took no action Tuesday, but they must eventually to make some recommendation to the county commission on the matter.Foster shared a sizeable list of duties his staff is responsible for before telling the assembly that it is problematic that employees of the mayor’s office are paid much less than others in similar jobs, including employees of the board of education central office and workers in other counties who are classified by job titles.“Since I've been here the job has grown and grown and I still have two people (working in his office),” the mayor said. “When they look around across the street (at the board of education) and see somebody doing exactly the same job, who is not dealing with the landfill, the fire department, the billing, the grants and all the things we do, and who is making $12,000 a year more than they are, and they look at other counties who are making more, then it becomes a little problem.”He said the disparity in pay was causing valued workers to look to greener pastures, but he did not want to give his employees a raise without all county offices being included in the process.“If I lose one (employee) it'll take me six months to a year to get anybody doing that job,” Foster said. “That's where I am.