Joe P. Asher
During a recent meeting of the Harlan County Fiscal Court, a proposed new pay schedule for the road department combined with a one and a half percent raise across the board to county employees was the basis for discussion.
Harlan County Treasurer Ryan Creech advised the court how his office has handled the proposed pay increase.
“We actually didn’t change anybody’s salary, everybody’s still at the same pay rate they were as of June 30 until we can clarify this,” explained Creech. “The issue that arose with the one and a half percent raise across the board, is if we did end up adopting the salary schedule proposed at the road garage, (and) if we did a one and a half percent raise and I’d already done that, in effect, some of those people would have been overpaid.”
Magistrate Bill Moore explained he had an issue with approving a new pay schedule for the road department before addressing the other county departments.
“We’re leaving some people out,” stated Moore. “No, I’m not for that.”
Magistrate David Kennedy offered to work on a solution.
“If you will agree with the cuts I want to make in this budget, I can find the money to give these people these pay raises. But it’s going to make a lot of people mad because of where the cuts are going to come from,” said Kennedy.
Kennedy explained why he wanted to adjust the road department’s pay schedule first.
“I wanted to look at the Road Department because the Road Department is just a starting point. We could have started with Recycling. But in that Road Department there are such huge discrepancies in the pay scale of these road department employees I felt like we needed to address that first,” said Kennedy.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop pointed out “if you do them one at a time, then how do you do comparables across the county government?”
“You will have a more difficult time unless you look at all the departments at one time — take a day, take two days, whatever it takes, then you have more comparables,” said Grieshop.
After some discussion, Kennedy proposed a motion to adopt the proposed salary schedule for the road department retroactive to July 1.
Harlan County Jailer Curt Stallard addressed the court before the motion was put to a vote.
“It’s not fair if you don’t give the same raise over the board to everyone,” stated Stallard.
Moore said he felt other departments were being left out and he “couldn’t go along with that.”
The motion passed with three votes in favor and two opposing.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com