When the Hood County Commissioners Court adopts the budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year at its regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 10, it will include 2.5 percent pay increases for most elected and appointed officials.
At this week’s regular meeting of the Commissioners Court, Precinct 4 Commissioner Steve Berry formally recommended the increase so that the list of proposed salaries could be published as required by law prior to adoption of the budget and the tax rate. The raises are similar to “step” plan raises awarded to rank-and-file employees.
A public hearing on the budget and the proposed tax rate of $0.3839 per $100 of valuation will be held at the next regular meeting of the Commissioners Court. That meeting will take place at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, in the Central Jury Room of the Justice Center.
The proposed tax rate is about 3 cents above the effective tax rate of $0.3536 and 4 cents above the current tax rate of $0.3439.
On Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., commissioners will hold a specially called workshop at the Justice Center to discuss issues about individual employee pay with elected and appointed officials who may want to do some restructuring in their offices for the new fiscal year.
Most of the discussions will take place in closed session. However, if commissioners take any action, it will happen in a public meeting in the Central Jury Room.
For the upcoming fiscal year, the county judge’s pay will go up $1,862 to $76,333. Each of the four county commissioners will see their compensation go up by $1,582 to $64,854.
Seven elected officials will receive raises of just under $1,500 for total pay of $61,411. Those officials are the county’s four peace justices; the tax assessor-collector; the district clerk; the county clerk; and the county treasurer.
The sheriff, Roger Deeds, will see his compensation go up by just over $1,800 to $74,611.
For the four constables, the increase will be just over $1,400 for a total salary of a bit less than $58,000.
The compensation for County Court-at-Law Judge Vincent Messina, County Attorney Lori Kaspar, District Judge Ralph Walton and District Attorney Rob Christian is more complicated because of money that comes from the state.
Each of the elected officials will receive $15,000 increases mandated by the state and total pay of $140,000.
The state pays all of Walton’s and Christian’s salary. However, the county will pay half of their $15,000 pay increase, as well as $7,500 for their service on the county Juvenile Board and another $3,900 for after hours work, such as signing blood warrants for suspected drunk drivers.
All together, the county will be kicking in $18,900 for each of them.
With Messina and Kaspar, the county pays half of their salaries, while the state pays the rest, according to Precinct 4 Commissioner Steve Berry.
Berry said that commissioners intend to give long needed pay increases to some sheriff’s deputies, as well as jailers, but “we’ve got some things to work out.”
He said that the pay for starting deputies will likely go up from $31,000 to $36,000 and across-the-board increases will likely range between $4,500 to $5,500.
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