Magistrates will not get pay raises

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By Calen McKinney


Magistrates won't receive a pay raise again for at least the next four years.

At last week's regular Taylor County Fiscal Court meeting, Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers said salaries for some elected officials and their deputies and assistants must be set by the first Monday in May before an election. The next election will be the primary election in May.

The salaries are set for the entire four-year term for each position, he said, and some receive a consumer price index raise each year, while others receive whatever raise the county gives its employees, if any. Magistrates, for the past several years, have declined to take that raise. They last approved a raise for themselves in the 2007-2008 fiscal year.

If they choose to do so, Rogers said, magistrates can set their salaries for the entire next term of office, which begins in January 2015 and ends in January 2019.

Magistrate Matt Pendleton said doing so would eliminate the discussion for the next four years as to whether magistrates should get raises.

The county's six magistrates, according to a listing of the salaries up for approval, are each paid $11,408.81 a year. They also receive $2,400 a year for serving on various county committees.

Other salaries that must be approved are printed below. The amount listed is the salary for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

• County attorney - $19,092.62, plus an annual CPI increase

• County attorney secretary - $14,347.82, plus the county's annual raise

• Coroner - $18,359.44, plus an annual CPI increase

• First deputy coroner - $6,458.08, plus the county's annual raise

• Second deputy coroner - $4,427.57, plus the county's annual raise

• County judge/executive assistant - $32,391.26, plus the county's annual raise

• Constables - $0

• County surveyor - $0

Last year, magistrates agreed to begin paying the county surveyor. Before last year, that position came with no salary. Don Dabney Jr. serves as the current county surveyor. He is paid $6,379.26 a year.

Pendleton said the argument for making the position a paid one was because Dabney was working on creating a book with maps of all roads included in the county road system. He asked if that has been completed. Rogers said, to his knowledge, little work has been done on that project.

As such, Pendleton said he is in favor of doing away with the county surveyor salary. He said he believes the payment was given just to complete that project. If it hasn't been done, he said, he believes the salary should no longer be paid.

Rogers said Dabney has done a few surveys for the county during his term, which will end in January 2015.

Pendleton said he has nothing against Dabney and the work he has done, he only believes the salary was to be paid for one year.

After the discussion, Pendleton made a motion for the county surveyor position to no longer be a paid one and for magistrates to not receive raises for their next term in office. The remaining salaries are to remain the same.

Magistrate Ed Gorin seconded the motion, which was approved by a vote of 5 to 1.

Magistrate John Gaines cast the lone "no" vote, but did not explain his position.

Also at the Meeting:

• Taylor County Senior Center will soon receive a facelift. Magistrates awarded a bid to Morris Carpet for $10,747 to replace some flooring at the center.

The flooring will be scratch-resistant vinyl and have a texture to help prevent slips and falls. Inmates will be used to remove the current flooring, which will reduce the overall cost. The new flooring comes with a six-year warranty.

Mitzi Hay, director at the center, thanked magistrates for recent lighting upgrades done at the center.

"We're no longer in the dark," she said.

• After a lengthy discussion, magistrates voted to advertise for bids for the cost to replace the county's current heating and cooling system and also to install a new four-pipe system.

Magistrates also voted to pay Carrier, which has maintained the county's heating and cooling system for the past 15 years, for repairs to the county's boiler. The repairs totaled $4,385.

• In his monthly report given to magistrates, Taylor County Jailer Hack Marcum stated that during the month of September, inmates housed at the Taylor County Detention Center performed 2,311.5 hours of labor in the community. If paid minimum wage, the hours would equate to $17,758.38. Inmates work with fire, street, housing, park, school and road department workers. A work crew picks up trash, mows and helps with recycling.

In September, the jail housed an average of 217 inmates each day, with 104 being state inmates. In all, 32 percent of the inmates housed at the detention center in September were Taylor County's inmates, who are non-revenue-generating customers.

In September, jail contracts with the state and Green, Cumberland and Jessamine counties produced $133,519.16 in revenue.

• Magistrates received a copy of recent employee changes at the detention center. Darlene Atwell was promoted from corporal to sergeant and received a pay increase from $11.76 an hour to $12.50.

Brooke Roberts was also promoted to sergeant and received a pay increase from $12 to $12.50 an hour.

Shaun Dile, Ammon Miller, Carol Henry, Mary Gabehart and Marion Taylor were hired as temporary workers at $9 an hour.

Bobby Whitlow was released from his duties and Joseph Clark and Todd Spurling resigned.

• The Court accepted $82,400 in grant funding for repairs to two bridges on Barney School Road and two bridges on Bakers Branch Road.

• Magistrates accepted $50,000 in micro-enterprise grant funding and opened a checking account for the money. Community Ventures will award the money and the county will reimburse them with the $50,000.

• Mike Hall Jr. was appointed and Lateshia Johnson re-appointed to the Taylor County Public Library Board for four-year terms. Board chair John Miller's term will expire in March. Hall will begin serving then.

• Magistrates approved their monthly requests for work to be done on county roads. The requests include repairs to tiles and potholes, mowing, grading county roads, cleaning ditches, replacing signs shoulder work and more.

• Magistrates gave their approval to a budget transfer, placing $30,107.50 in the county's jail fund to buy a vehicle.

• As of Sept. 30, the county had $1,465,307.31 in its general fund, $843,746 in the road fund, $559,362.39 in the jail fund, $3,456.82 in the LGEA fund and $19,935.64 in the ASAP fund.

• After deducting expenses and refunds, nearly $728,000 has been collected in occupational taxes this fiscal year.