County employees question pay increase
by James Phillips
Apr 05, 2011 | 3287 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A raise in pay for one county employee, which took place in 2010, was brought into question Monday morning at the Walker County Commission's regularly scheduled meeting.

Mark Pendley and Cynthia Baughn are both employees at the Walker County Sheriff's Office. The two spoke at Monday's commission meeting representing all county employees. Baughn said Walker County Commission Chairman Bruce Hamrick approved a pay raise for an employee working as a deputy collector in the Walker County Revenue Office in October. Pendley and Baughn handed commissioners a letter, signed by more than 50 employees, requesting an across-the-board pay raise in the same amount given to that employee.

"All county employees are to be paid according to an objective pay scale," the letter stated. "The adjustment of the scale cannot be done arbitrarily."

Baughn said if a new classification was created that testing and other experience should be taken into consideration to fill the newly created classification.

"This person moved up a step without everybody having a chance," she said. "One person within a department getting a raise looks like prejudice."

Jill Farris, administrator for the county, said she would have to research the issue.

"I'll have to go back and see what exactly happened," she said.

District 2 Commissioner Dan Wright said the group hasn't approved any raises.

"We, as a group, have not voted on any pay raises," he said. "The only raises given have been signed by Bruce (Hamrick) if an elected official has asked for it and they already had money in their budget. If they have the money in their budget and we don't have to amend the budget, there is no reason to vote on it. I believe that is what happened here."

In other action, the Commission:

*Approved a budget amendment in the Emergency Management Agency of $3,000 to pay for forklift repair.

*Tabled accepting bids on an inmate telephone system to research the bids that were returned.

*Approved changing the polling place for Beat 24 in District 2 from Pocahontas Methodist Church to Pocahontas Freewill Baptist Church.

*Announced the county-wide cleanup initiative will be April 16-23. Commissioners said garbage bags are available at all district shops.