One of 2 County Elected Officials Withdraws Salary Grievance, But it's too Late to Matter
SAN ANGELO, TX -- Tom Green County Clerk Liz McGill withdrew her salary grievance Wednesday morning but the deadline to rescind the request was Monday.
According to County Judge Steve Floyd, county elected officials had until 5 p.m. Monday to file or rescind a grievance. The salary grievance hearing will be conducted in the commissioner's courtroom on the second floor of the Keyes building downtown at 2 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 13. Pct. 4 County Commissioner Bill Ford has filed a salary grievance.
In an email withdrawing her salary grievance Wednesday morning, McGill said, "It was my intent to divide it among my staff as a Christmas bonus if I was fortunate enough to get it, since their 5% COLA (Cost Of Living Adjustment) was not allowed."
According to the email, McGill said, "My staff is upset and rightly so because about half of my staff has been here less than six months, so all they will get will be the 2.7 percent of there already very low salary and not eligible for the merit pay or the longevity pay."
McGill says most of her employees have second jobs to make ends meet. As we reported earlier, the Tom Green County Clerk’s salary is $72,420 with a $1,485 car allowance for total annual compensation of $73,905.
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.
McGill continued, "I have been in County Government for 38 years and it has always been the lower paid employees who do the majority of the work and make our offices function and run smooth. I am able to pay my bills with my salary and that of my husbands, but my employees are struggling and I dare say that none of us could meet our obligations on their salaries."
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 four to one for a three percent raise for all elected officials. Ford voted against the measure.
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.
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.
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.
It is unclear what will happen after McGill missed the deadline to rescind her salary grievance.