After looking at the salaries of several state government employees and having reviewed the payrolls of local governments, I sent this email to the Tennessee General Assembly.
As you hit the campaign trails, think about the impact that your actions have on the people that you are suppose to represent.
You’ve passed state mandated minimum salaries for office holders, including local elected officials and judges. Those state mandated minimums are double, triple and even quadruple what the average salaries of taxpayers are.
For example: County Clerk, Register of Deeds, Trustee and the Property Assessor in Blount County will receive a salary of $82,801.
Compare that to the working taxpayers of Blount County. The average salary in 2013 was $42,731. That means that your state mandated minimums are almost double the average salary. Other elected officials such as the Highway Superintendent, Sheriff and Mayor will receive more than $82,801 and make more than double the average salary.
Perhaps the most disgusting salaries are those of the judges. You’ve come up with a way to hide calling what you do a pay raise by saying they receive a cost of living increase. Does someone making $161K need a cost of living increase, when the average salary is slightly more than 1/4 of what the judges are paid?
Why are the judges special? Please don’t tell me that they have to be well paid to attract the best people. The best people are often the ones who help people without compensation or for far less. Those who run private practices may make more but they have no guaranteed salaries and also don’t have standard hours. Please don’t tell me that judges work all the time because they have all kinds of staff doing work for them. These judges locally, always have time to make all the special dinners to be treated as elite people in society. There are plenty of people who work as many or more hours than judges and receive far less pay.
You passed legislation to add more to the court costs to fund these outrageous salaries when what you should have done is said these people already make enough and stop giving increases under a different description.
These salaries don’t reflect that in Blount County, they receive one of the best health care plans on the planet. It is far better than what most private companies are offering.
What you have done with these state mandated minimums that are far more than the people earn is create a privileged class who have forgotten that it is their roles to serve, not to live lavish lifestyles off the hard work of the people. Many of the people of Blount County, and likely of the entire state, resent that government officials are being paid far more than they make.
Stop the pay increases and the cost of living increases for these “servants” who are already making double, triple and quadruple what the people they are suppose to be serving are making. These positions could easily go 5 years without a pay raise/cost of living increase and still make FAR MORE than the people that they are suppose to be serving.
Let freedom ring!