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Rose, Stout raises OK'd

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By Damon Lawrence

Howie Rose and Scott Stout will be a little fatter in the wallet.

Roane County Commission voted 10-5 last week to return the two Office of Emergency Services employees to their previous pay grades.

Back in October, the commission voted 8-7 to cut their salaries 9 percent.   

“I didn’t vote for it to
begin with, but I will vote to put it back in,” Com-missioner Fred Tedder said.

Tedder, Copper Bacon, James Brummett, Ray Cantrell, Bobby Collier, Randy Ellis, Jerry Goddard, Carolyn Granger, Chris Johnson and Steve Kelley voted in favor of the resolution.

Ron Berry, Benny East, Nick Forrester, George Nelson and Stanley Moore voted against it.

“Just three months ago, we were asked to take that 9-percent away,” Berry said. “Typically, we don’t react in three months.”

During last year’s campaign for county executive, Ron Woody criticized OES for purchasing $150 sunglasses.

“You got a neighbor that’s unemployed, under employed or concerned about losing a job, and then you’ve got the government spending money on unnecessary items,” Woody said in July.

Woody also criticized OES for what he said
was misuse of county vehicles.

He had been in office for less than an hour on Sept. 1 when he announced the 9-percent pay cut for Rose and Stout.

He also said he was hiring Jack Jinks part time to give OES some leadership and direction.

Woody submitted the resolution to reinstate the salaries. He said past problems in OES have been corrected.  

“Do you feel that the enhancements made to that department was made as a result of the 9-percent decrease in salaries?” Moore asked.  

“I really think the enhancements were made primarily due to more oversight,” Woody responded.

The resolution was not retroactive and does not grant Rose and Stout any back pay.

Stout’s salary for the fiscal year will be $32,750.

Rose’s salary for the fiscal year will be $47,718. That’s less than the $49,316 he was set to make before the 9-percent cut.

Jinks’ title has been steadily changing since Woody brought him on board.

On Sept. 1, Woody said, “The new guy is in charge,” referring to Jinks’ role with OES.

He was later listed as the manager of OES on the county’s website. Now the county lists Jinks as a consultant for that department.

He’s also been working with the county’s solid waste department.