SAN ANGELO, TX — Tom Green County Commissioners voted Tuesday for a pay raise for elected officials including themselves beginning in October which triggers a possible salary grievance hearing if any elected official disputes his or her proposed salary.
The court also voted for a tax rate increase for the 2020 Fiscal Year requiring two public hearings.
During recent budget hearings commissioners had agreed to a five percent raise in base pay for the 28 elected officials and a ten percent raise for county employees.
County Judge Steve Floyd said during the meeting that the ten percent raise for employees will be five percent starting in October and then another five percent in January after the completion of a salary study.
Floyd said the employee salary increase is necessary because the county has seen a 34-percent turnover in employees in the last year because of low pay.
The turnover rate doesn't include jailers after the Eden Detention Center reopened this spring.
The new Tom Green County Jail is scheduled to open in January and Floyd said the county will have to operate both the old jail and the new jail for a couple of months. The new jail will have 557 beds and could be expanded in the future where the current jail has 446 beds.
Operating the new jail will require an additional 14 jailers which the court has in the FY 2020 budget. Pct. 1 Commissioner Ralph Hoelscher said the county is having a difficult time hiring new employees to work in the jail in part because of the salary range.
Pct. 4 Commissioner Bill Ford became visibly upset when Hoelscher made a motion to increase the elected officials by 3.5 percent. Ford said they had agreed at a previous budget hearing to raise elected officials' salaries by five percent. The difference will only be $19,300 total per year for all elected officials in the $55 million budget.
The court had to vote for a proposed tax rate of .55182 per $100 in property value. The current rate is .5450 per $100 in property value.
The court set two public hearings on the proposed tax rate; Tuesday Aug. 13 at 9 a.m. and Thursday Aug. 22 at 6:30 p.m. both public hearings on the tax rate will be held in the Commissioners Court meeting room on the second floor of the Keyes building at 113 W. Beauregard.