Commissioners discuss pros and cons of raises for elected officials

Reported by: Caitlin Napoleoni
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Updated: 7/15/2013 11:38 pm
There could be a pay raise for county employees and elected officials. County Commissioners are charged with deciding who may get a raise and of what size. Precinct 3 Commissioner Lorenzo "Bubba" Sedeno and Patti Jones, Commissioner of Precinct 4 were both in attendance.

"Everybody wants a raise. Even I'd like to have a raise." Sedeno said.

But Sedeno made it clear in the special budget meeting he won't be voting on a salary increase for county employees and elected officials.

"I think times are still a little bit tough for some of those taxpaying citizens out there right now." Sedeno said.

Others on the court think the county can't afford to lose employees to the private sector, so they must create competitive wages.

"We want to give good service to the taxpayers. Well, in order to have good service, you've got to have good people and you want to keep the good people. It is much cheaper for Lubbock County to retain employees than to retrain." Jones said.

Suggested salary increases typically account for cost of living and based on a five year average of the southern region consumer price index. If the commissioners decide to increase wages this year, it could be by 2.5 percent or 2.55 percent.

"To do the 2.5 would be about 1.25 million to the county. To do the 2.55 it would be like 1.28 million." Jones added.

Sedeño said county employees have had a raise for ten of the last eleven years.

"I think they'll be okay, for them not to get one this year." He said.

"We still have to take care of them to make sure that their dollars go as far as they can." Jones said.

Jones said most county employees work full time and don't have other side jobs.

County employee and elected officials' salaries are available to the public via an open records request. The commissioners will have another budget workshop on July 24th and decide on the salary increase by July 30th.
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