At the Budget Committee on Monday I spoke about the outrageous pay raises that some elected officials and Department heads are giving themselves in the fiscal year 2015 budget, which runs July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015. My comments fell upon deaf ears, as did all the comments from the citizens. This is disturbing because two elected officials, receiving big pay raises, like to use their employees to demagogue for more money.
As usual Sheriff James Lee Berrong (Bewrong) came to the meeting asking for a pay raise for his employees. He could start with the $18,773 raise he has given himself over the past two years. That $18,773 could provide a nearly $1,000 pay raise to 19 employees. The money is there Jimbo. Why are you giving it to yourself? You live on Lambert Acres Golf Course. That would still leave you with a $99,063 salary, free car and gas and the most generous health care plan from any employer that I know of.
Then there’s Register of Deeds Phyllis Crisp who should be given the Blount County drama queen award. She flapped her jaws, devoid of facts, and complained about the people who stand up to the good ole’ boys. She is giving herself a $6,105 pay raise for FY 15 over FY 13, for a desk job where she sits in an air condition room and will make over $80,000 and have one of the most generous benefit packages on the planet. Her husband Tony Crisp is the Chief of Police of Maryville, so she’s not hurting for money either. Crisp made the statement at the Budget meeting that it takes years to train her employees. That means that she is either doing a lousy job training her employees or she has incompetent employees, and I don’t think the problem is the latter.
So we have the County Sheriff and the wife of the Chief of Police feeding at the taxpayer trough. If they really care so much about the men in uniforms on the streets, they wouldn’t hog all the bacon for themselves. There’s plenty of fat to trim and it will start as soon as Bewrong and drama queen Crisp look in the mirror or when the County Commission grows a spine. Don’t look for either to happen anytime soon. The solution? Show up at the Commission meeting on Monday June 30th at 6 PM and let them know that the buck stops with the Commission and they need to trim the fat from the good ole’ boys.
Important facts to keep in mind: The Mayor nominates the Commissioners to serve on the Budget Committee. This Budget Committee originally sent a budget requiring $4.5 million use of fund balance from the General County without a recommendation to the County Commission. The Mayor failed to properly hold a budget hearing. The Mayor sent an illegible notice to the paper for publication about the public hearing. The Mayor had to reschedule another budget hearing because the first one that he had was illegal, under the budgeting law. This incompetent Budget Committee falls squarely at the feet of the incompetent Mayor.
Here’s a list of most Department heads and elected officials. The County Buildings supervisor is not included because the numbers listed in the budget do not match the payroll earnings for the current and past years. I am seeking clarification on this and will update this post when I have the information.
|Official||FY 2013||FY 2014||FY 2015||1 Year||2 Year|
|Accounting & Budgeting||$84,298||$87,866||$90,511||3.01%||7.37%|
|Circuit Court Clerk||$75,048||$78,508||$89,269||13.71%||18.95%|
|Clerk & Master Chancery Court||$75,048||$78,508||$81,153||3.37%||8.13%|
|General Sessions Judges||$153,231||$156,449||$158,796||1.50%||3.63%|
|Register of Deeds||$75,048||$78,508||$81,153||3.37%||8.13%|
|*No paid director for most of FY 13. Staff was paid from part time personnel, overtime and other salaries & wages.|
|*AC Director, Part Time Personnel, Overtime, Other Salaries & Wages||$118,152||$160,949||$164,300||2.08%||39.06%|
|^This is the salary for all 21 Commissioners combined.|
|Note: General County employees received a $1,000 bonus in FY 14. They did not take a pay cut if their salary is $1,000 less in FY 15.|
|Rate of inflation is approximately 3.6% for 2012 to present.|
Watch the entire meeting.