SAN ANGELO – Tom Green County Commissioners Tuesday morning rejected a proposal to set the maximum salary increase for County elected officials at 8% for the upcoming fiscal year instead opting for a 6% cap on raises.
State law requires Commissioners Courts to publish a maximum salary increase proposed for elected officials every year during the budget process before it is adopted to give time for citizens to provide input on any raise for elected officials.
The proposal before the Tuesday meeting was an 8% raise for elected officials which is the same increase proposed for all County employees.
Pct. 3 Commissioner Rick Bacon said he had a hard time setting the maximum salary increase at 8% for elected officials and proposed a 6% cap instead. Pct. 4 Commissioner Shawn Nanny seconded Bacon's motion and the court approved the proposed 6% maximum salary increase for the 27 County elected officials for the upcoming fiscal year.
Judge Lane Carter said the Court still doesn't have certified values from the Appraisal District so salary proposals and the budget could change significantly based upon those property values and new state law.
With the adoption of the 6% maximum increase in salaries for elected officials, any elected official who disagrees with their proposed salary now has a window of opportunity to contest that salary by state law.
Elected officials can officially request a salary grievance hearing which would initiate a process where a committee other elected officials and citizens would be formed to hear the grievance.
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.
The decision by the salary grievance committee is final and cannot be appealed.