County OKs employee pay raises

Published: Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 11:36 AM.

Franklin County commissioners Tuesday morning approved a $500 across-the-board bonus for all county employees for the upcoming fiscal year, and sweetened the offer with individual pay raises for two directors and two employees.

The board also offered raises for four other employees of the finance department, but Clerk of Courts Marcia Johnson said Tuesday afternoon that she would decline those salary hikes.

Early in the meeting, Mosquito Control Director DeWitt Polous got the ball rolling in his report, when he asked about a $1,000 raise for employee Scott Tucker.

Commissioner Pinki Jackel then spoke out in favor of granting a $500 bonus to each of the county’s roughly 163 employees, at a cost of about $90,000. She also requested in her motion a $2,500 increase for Parks and Recreation Director Nikki Millender, and a $1,000 pay hike for Virginia Messer, the road department secretary.

Commissioner William Massey seconded the motion, which did not include Tucker because his pay increase might come out of mosquito control’s existing budget forecast for next year, which the board reviewed at its workshop last month. Polous said the pay hike would not cost the county any additional money, since it could be taken out of a state grant that rose by $2,008 for next year, and is expected to rise in future years as larger counties turn back surpluses for divvying up among smaller ones.

Polous said Tucker, who oversees inmate crews for about seven months out of the year, is not eligible for incentive money that road department employees can get for working with inmate crews. “He’s a really excellent employee,” said Polous. “I can’t brag on Scott enough. When I was out sick, he stepped right in and he picked up the mantle and ran with it. I didn’t have to worry about anything.”

Jackel’s three-part motion was quickly challenged by Commissioner Noah Lockley, who has long favored employee raises, even in tight budget years when his suggestion has not met with support from his fellow commissioners.

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