The commission has discretion in pay of some office holders

Myth Buster 2

Assertion by the political machine: The State sets office holders salaries

Fact: This is partially true.  The state does set minimum salaries for office holders.  You can view those salaries here.  However, state law allows the commission to increase the salaries of some elected officials.

The Circuit Court Clerk can be given a 10% pay increase above the state minimum.  Tom Hatcher made a pay increase request for the current budget year and was given the increase.  Under state law, the Highway Superintendent, Sheriff and Mayor automatically get a pay increase when the Circuit Court Clerk is given the increase.  Read the notes for more details.

The Sheriff may be given additional compensation for serving as workhouse superintendent, which the Sheriff has been receiving for several years.  This means that Mayor will also get more because the Sheriff gets more, per state law.

Office Holder State Minimum Current Pay
Circuit Court Clerk Tom Hatcher $81,153 $89,269
Highway Superintendent Bill Dunlap $89,269 $98,197
Sheriff James Berrong $89,269 $117,835
Mayor Ed Mitchell $93,732 $123,727

The Mayor is making nearly $30,000 more than the state minimum.  The Sheriff is making $28,566 more than the state minimum.  We keep hearing about deputies making around $28,600 and correctional officers making around $27,600.  It’s interesting the Sheriff’s pay above the state minimum is around the cost of pay for a deputy.  The Sheriff could forego the additional pay and hire a new deputy or give 28 deputies a $1,000 pay raise with the amount that he is getting above the state minimum, while still making about 3 times what his deputies and correctional officers are making.

The cost to the taxpayers above the state minimum is $75,605 for these salary supplements not including the payroll taxes.  The commission can and should cut these salaries to the state minimum.  The officers will still make far more than most of their employees and the citizen taxpayers.

2 thoughts on “The commission has discretion in pay of some office holders

  1. The commission can and should cut these salaries to the state minimum.  

    I support this completely. They are making 2 & 3 times their employees salaries and we all know the employees are the ones who do all the work and deserve more. How can we go about putting this on the agenda to discuss? I’m sure overall the citizens of Blount County would go for the office holders making state minimum. $81k plus as a minimum that I could get paid when their peers make $27 -35k? They are well off. The ones making $27-35k are having to make it by on those salaries, I think the office holders should be able to make it by on their minimum that is “required” by law.

    • Only four commissioners supported cutting their pay to the state minimum. Commissioners Mike Akard, Jamie Daly, Karen Miller and Tona Monroe.

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