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By DAMON LAWRENCE
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.