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Jefferson County Commission criticized over pay increase

September 07, 2007|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - The Jefferson County Commissioners were criticized Thursday for hurting morale in county government by giving a secretary a 22 percent pay raise this year while most other county employees received a 4.5 percent increase.

Commissioner Rusty Morgan and Commission President Frances Morgan acknowledged that the move probably was unwise, and Commissioner Dale Manuel tried to rectify the situation by giving other county employees an additional 2 percent pay raise.

Manuel's plan was tabled for a week.

Jefferson County Prosecutor Michael D. Thompson and Jefferson County Sheriff Everett "Ed" Boober criticized the commission's decision to give the secretary in the county's impact fee office a higher pay increase, and Boober said it has affected morale in county government.

"When you do something like this, it has a ripple effect all through county government," Thompson said.

Upon reflecting on the situation, Commissioner Rusty Morgan said it was a "terrible decision. I wish we could take it back."

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Morgan said the commission was convinced to give the secretary the higher pay to retain her.

Corliss criticized spending more money on pay raises, saying what is needed is a wage study to examine pay inequity issues in county government.

"It's throwing money at a problem we haven't been able to resolve," Corliss said.

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