Commissioners face budget

Commissioners continue to work on their budget, facing tough decisions such as department raises, travel allowances, and the upcoming capital murder trial. A public hearing was held on the tax rate at the Aug. 8 meeting. The court has budgeted $700,000 for the capital murder trial and it seems the trial may run upwards of $1 million.

Commissioners have proposed a two cent tax increase of 0.35947 cents per $100 valuation; the current tax rate is 0.339. Commissioners voted on the tax rate at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16.

At a recent meeting, Alicia Doggett gave an impassioned speech to the court regarding the pay of County Clerk employees and at one point spoke directly to Pct. 2 Commissioner Craig Oakes, saying she voted for him because she felt like he could make a change.

Doggett, who came to work for the county from Sam’s Restaurant three years ago, explained what it was like to work for the county and still have to be on welfare.

“I have one child on CHIPS because I don’t make enough,” she said. “Have you ever sat down and looked at every office’s pay or does that not matter to you?”

In County Clerk Linda Jarvis’ office, employees are averaging about $21,000 per year.

While commissioner’s granted a 2 percent raise to all county employees recently, the pay at the County Clerk’s office is still lacking as is the District Clerk’s office. Jarvis has requested pay increases for her office for several years. A 2 percent raise for county clerk employees averages about $9.30 per week.

In light of Doggett’s comments, County Treasurer Jeannie Keeney – who is currently searching for an assistant deputy treasurer – spoke up about the pay scale. The county’s pay scale states Keeney must hire someone at $30,000 per year.

“Either move me to a different pay grade or move that assistant deputy treasurer to a different pay grade on the pay scale,” said Keeney.

In other budget discussion, the county’s total revenue is currently $9,189,000, while expenditures are at $9,249,000 – a deficit of $60,000. Here’s the departments


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