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Two more attempts to raise Jefferson County salaries fail

August 01, 2008|By DAVE McMILLION

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. -- Two more attempts to increase salaries for Jefferson County employees failed Thursday during the Jefferson County Commission's weekly meeting.

Salaries for some county employees are as low as $21,500, and there have been attempts to boost pay, although members of the commission disagree over how it should be accomplished.

At the July 24 commission meeting, Commissioner Dale Manuel tried unsuccessfully to get a 5 percent pay raise for county employees. On Thursday, he tried for a 5.25 percent increase for workers who did not get a pay boost this fiscal year, but that also failed.

Manuel was the only commissioner to vote for his proposal.

Commissioner Greg Corliss said he supports raises, but believes a wage board should be formed to examine salaries. Commission President Frances Morgan said she also likes the idea of a wage board.

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There was some mention of holding off on pay increases for now, which Manuel said was not fair to workers, given the bad economy.

"They go to the gas pumps like I do," Manuel said.

The other proposal that was voted down was to use $41,657 in surplus funds from the Jefferson County Circuit Clerk's Office to fund raises there.

Although the commission rejected similar pay boost proposals last week, it increased the pay for the head of the county's planning and zoning departments by 12.5 percent to $90,000.

After that meeting, the commission received a letter from the Jefferson County Deputy Sheriff's Association, the sheriff's department administrative staff and sheriff's office tax deputies.

After recent budget shortfalls, the three groups said they were willing to accept a lack of pay raises, but now they can "no longer remain silent to this travesty," their letter said.

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