2 Republicans File Grievances Because Tom Green County Doesn't Pay Them Enough
SAN ANGELO, TX -- Tom Green County Commissioner Bill Ford and County Clerk Liz McGill, both Republicans, have filed salary grievances over salaries proposed in the FY 2019 budget. The commissioners court acknowledged the receipt of their grievance letters during their regular meeting Tuesday.
Back in July, Commissioner Ford argued for a ten percent raise for commissioners saying they are paid $10,000 to $15,000 less annually than their counterparts is similar sized counties with similar sized budgets. The court voted 4 to one for a three percent raise for all elected officials.
According to the Texas Association of Counties, Tom Green County Commissioners are paid $49,476 with a car allowance of $11,259 for total compensation of $60,735. The Tom Green County Clerk’s salary is $72,420 with a $1,485 car allowance for total annual compensation of $73,905.
The current budget proposal includes a three percent raise for elected officials which would set the commissioner’s salary at $50,960.28. If Ford wins his grievance, his salary would be $54,423.60 plus the car allowance for total compensation of $65,682.60.
A three percent raise for the County Clerk would make the salary $74,592.60 plus the car allowance for total compensation of $76,077.60.
There are 28 elected officials in Tom Green County and their salaries are set each year by the commissioners court. State law allows elected officials to contest their proposed salary and a salary grievance committee is formed.
According to the Texas Association of Counties, Chapter 152 of the Local Government Code creates a salary grievance process for elected county officials to challenge their salaries, expenses, and allowances as set out in the proposed budget.
Under the Code, notice must be published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county at least 10 days prior to any meeting at which proposed increases in salaries, expenses or allowances will be discussed.
Written notice must also be provided to each elected county and precinct officer detailing the salary and personal expenses to be included in the budget. An elected county or precinct officer who disagrees with the salary or personal expenses provided in the proposed budget may request a hearing before the salary grievance committee before the budget’s final approval.
The nine-member salary grievance committee generally consists of the county judge, sheriff, tax assessor-collector, treasurer, county clerk, district clerk, county attorney or criminal district attorney, and the number of members of the public necessary to provide nine voting members. The county judge is chair of the committee but is not entitled to vote. As an alternative, the commissioners court may vote to have the committee consist of nine public members, which is also chaired by the county judge.
The decision by the salary grievance committee is final and cannot be appealed.
The salary grievance committee meeting is set for Monday, August 13 at 2 p.m. The meeting open to the public and will be held in the commissioner’s court room on the second floor of the Keyes building downtown.
The commissioners court has two tax rate hearings set before the court adopts a budget and approves a tax rate to fund the budget. The court has set the maximum tax rate the same as the current tax rate of 54.5 cents per $100 in property value. The tax rate public hearings are Tuesday, August 14 at 9:30 a.m. and Thursday, August 23 at 6:30 p.m. Those hearings also take place in the commissioners court meeting room in the Keyes building.