County caps max salaries for employees

Posted 11/12/19

County employee compensation, on both a macro and micro level, dominated the regular meeting Tuesday of the Madison County Commissioners Court, a meeting held a day later than normal because of the Veterans Day holiday on Monday.

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County caps max salaries for employees

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County employee compensation, on both a macro and micro level, dominated the regular meeting Tuesday of the Madison County Commissioners Court, a meeting held a day later than normal because of the Veterans Day holiday on Monday.

Commissioners voted to cap the maximum salary range for county positions, rather than the automatic adjustment of prior years to match the pay increase for county employees. According to County Auditor Toni Joyner, one or two senior employees would exceed the maximum range for their positions if they receive the 4% increase agreed upon, though contentiously, during the 2020 budgeting process.

With the cap on the upper salary range, Joyner told commissioners, they would have to make decisions on those people’s salaries or titles after more information was gathered.

Meanwhile, Treasurer Judi Delasandri pleaded with commissioners to release $7,500 in contingency funds to hire a full-time replacement for retiring deputy treasurer Mike Bishop in time for a two-month period of training.

Bishop plans to retire Jan. 31 after more than seven years as deputy treasurer. Delasandri asked for permission to hire a full-time replacement as early as Dec. 1 at $18 an hour, with that compensation rising on Feb. 1, when they would take over the position fully.

Delesandri originally indicated that the salary would move to $20 an hour on Feb. 1, which led to queries from County Judge Tony Leago.

“The only question I have, with that $20 an hour you’re talking about, is that other department deputies don’t get that,” he said.

“That’s less than Mike is currently being paid,” Delasandri told the court. The salary range for the position, she said, is $11.57 to $22.50 per hour.

Commissioner Ricky Driskell suggested setting pay for the training period at $16 an hour, but the court agreed to allow Delasandri some flexibility in the compensation level to fit any possible qualified candidate.

In addition to those compensation matters, commissioners approved moving up annual “longevity pay” disbursements to elected officials to the Nov. 30 paycheck. Unelected county employees receive their longevity pay with the second paycheck in December, but elected officials did not receive theirs until Dec. 30.

In other matters Tuesday, Election Judge Janet Boone told the court that 1,137 of the county’s 7,428 registered voters, or 15.3% came to the polls Nov. 5 for the off-year election.

“We were surprised and very very happy with turnout,” she said. Boone speculated that Prop. 4 on the list of Texas constitution amendments – one that created a strong ban on any potential state income tax – was the driving force for turnout.

“We think that was the big draw,” she said.

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