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County debates pay raise

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By The Staff

By DAMON LAWRENCE

dlawrence@roanecounty.com

Members of the county budget committee have expressed support for a boost in pay for employees.

“I wish that we could give our employees a salary increase,” County Executive Mike Farmer said.

Budget director Alva Moore said a 1-percent raise would cost about $103,000.

Employees were in line to get a 1-percent raise last year, but it was taken out of the budget at the last minute.

Commissioner James Brummett said he liked the idea of giving a one-time bonus instead of a raise.

“In case our revenue should shift next year,” he said. 

Moore said he would rather employees get a salary increase instead of a bonus.

“You can give a 1-percent increase and still have a balanced budget,” Moore said.

Commissioner Bobby Collier said he favors the increase because school system employees are getting a 1-percent raise.

“To me, it’s a matter of fairness,” he said.

The committee did not recommend a 1-percent raise, but directed Moore to prepare figures so it may be added later if commissioners so choose.  

Commissioner Ron Berry said giving employees a raise sends the wrong message, even if the money is available.

“Not with spending $107,000 on cell phones and stuff, and drive-home vehicles,” he said.