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Commissioners grapple with salaries in Jefferson County

July 25, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Salaries for county employees became a sore spot Thursday at a meeting of the Jefferson County Commission.

Some salaries for county employees are as low as $21,500 and the commission has been debating how to increase salaries.

Jefferson County Circuit Clerk Patsy Noland had a surplus of $41,657 in her budget and she asked the commission for permission to use the money to increase salaries in her department.

The effort failed and Noland, obviously tense, told the commission she was not giving up.

Commissioner Rusty Morgan told Noland the commission is working on the issue.

Later in the meeting, Commissioner Dale Manuel proposed a 5 percent pay raise for all county employees.

Pay equity has been another concern, and Manuel said some workers have received raises up to $4,000 recently.

Manuel's proposal also failed.

Commissioner Greg Corliss later proposed that Tony Redman, director of the county's planning and zoning departments, have his salary increased to $90,000 to compensate him for taking on other jobs in the department after he was hired to do only one.

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In protest of the move, Manuel held up a piece of paper, which read 12.5 percent, the amount of Redman's increase.

Manuel questioned the move, especially after he could not get any of the commissioners to support him on his 5 percent pay raise plan.

"I'm ashamed. I'm ashamed," Manuel said.

Corliss, Commission President Frances Morgan and Commissioner Jim Surkamp voted to increase Redman's pay, while Manuel and Rusty Morgan voted no.

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