• 82°

County raise deadline is Monday

On Monday, Pike County commissioners will have to make a final decision to accept or decline a 1.5 percent cost of living pay raise, according to information from the Pike County Commission.

Of the six commissioners, so far Robert Sullivan and Jimmy Barron officially have signed paperwork declining the pay raise. Barron declined the raise in September and encouraged other elected officials to do the same. Sullivan also declined on the September 21, the night the commissioners passed the decision to give all county employees the pay raise.

Commissioner Oren Fannin has stated on the record he would decline the offer, but has not signed paperwork doing so yet, according to commission records.

Neither have Charlie Harris and Ray Goodson, according to County Administrator Harry Sanders. The commissioners could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

Commissioner Homer Wright said he would accept the pay raise.

“I’m going to accept, because I worked hard enough for it,” he said.

If Harris, Goodson and Fannin don’t officially decline the raise by Monday, the increase will be written into their paychecks automatically.

The pay raise was enacted in response to a 3.2 percent increase in health insurance costs for county employees.

Instead of a 3 percent anniversary raise for all employees, which would have been issued based on each employee’s anniversary date, the increase will be factored into county employees’ paychecks this Monday.

In September, Sanders estimated that the increase would make about the same impact in the budget as a 3 percent anniversary raise spread out over the anniversaries of all the employees.

On Wednesday, he said that even if all the commissioners had accepted the raise, the impact on the budget would have still been slightly less than it would have been with the 3 percent raise.

“It allows the commissioners to give everybody something now,” he said.

With the number of officials who have already declined the raise, Sanders said the change will be an even more favorable impact on the budget.

“It will be a greater difference,” he said.