Upson County government employees could be receiving a raise for the first time in four years, if the new county budget is adopted at a called meeting on December 30. At a called budget work session Friday, the Board of Commissioners agreed to a proposed pay raise for employees.
Under the proposal, employees will be divided into three categories based on their pay. Those in the lower third pay category would receive a three percent raise. Those in the middle pay category would receive a two percent pay raise, and those in the top pay category would receive a 1 percent raise.
Much of the discussion centered around the Upson County Sheriff’s Office, Jail, and the 911 Center, whose employees received a five percent raise two years ago and a two percent raise last year. The Sheriff had requested those raises in order to keep his department salaries competitive in order to attract good officers.
The commissioners discussed not giving the Sheriff’s Office, Jail and 911 Center any type of raise, but felt it would be unfair and would cause too many problems. After a phone call to Sheriff Dan Kilgore, who said his deputies deserve some type of raise, the board decided to give the Sheriff’s Office, Jail and 911 Center employees a one percent raise across the board.
“What I heard Dan say is he would like to see them get something,” Commissioner Lorenzo Wilder said. “I would give them one percent. They still get something, and one percent is something.”
Upson County Chief Financial Officer Wayne Sandefur said the pay increase would be about $85,000, with another 16 percent or so for benefits and payroll taxes. But he and County Manager Jim Wheeless assured the board that based on revenue projections, the county should be able to handle the pay increase without a proble,
“We’re giving everybody a raise, so we don’t need people coming in and wanting this one a raise, that one a raise,” Commissioner Frank Spraggins stated. “That’s just my opinion, but Jim (Wheeless) is telling us the way things look with taxes and revenues in this budget, that we’re going to get by fine. So that’s what we need to do.”
The pay raise increases do not include constitutional officers, the Board of Commissioners, and the County Manager.
Wheeless noted that there will be a Public Hearing on the proposed 2016 budget on Wednesday, Dec. 23, at 9 a.m. The law requires the board to wait a week after the public hearing before approving the budget, so they will have a special called meeting on Dec. 30 to adopt the budget.
Larry Stanford may be reached at 706-647-5414 or on Twitter @LarryStanford7.