By Sarah Lang
It took 14 tries, but the Boone County Council finally came to an agreement on pay raises for county employees at Tuesday’s budget adoption meeting.
Councilwoman Marcia Wilhoite opened up the salary discussions saying there was room in the 2014 budget for a 3 percent raise for all employees. But if the council wanted to explore a 4 percent raise, it was possible with the passage of a resolution that was prepared just in case of that event.
County officials picked apart their budgets to come up with $70,149. A resolution decreasing their budgets by that total amount would allow the council to reappropriate that money for pay increases. And after four failed motions for pay increases, the council decided to vote on the resolution, which passed.
Though Councilman Gene Thompson said he appreciated the department heads who offered up this money from their budgets, he was still worried about the process.
“I’m a little uncomfortable looking at that money and saying it’s available to use for a raise,” he said. “Will we do this every year?”
Councilman David Rodgers echoed the feeling, adding that pay raises weren’t appropriate given the current financial situation of the county. The council has been moving money around and pledging to draw from reserve funds, even using some of those funds for the 2014 budget, he said. And there are plans to pull out another $500,000 in January.