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Commissioners talk 5-percent across-the-board raises
Wilson County NewsJuly 10, 2013 | 4,014 views | 42 comments
Preliminary estimates are that Wilson County’s budget for the 2014 fiscal year could be $1.3 million larger than the spending plan adopted for the previous year, including a proposed 5-percent raise for most county employees. This is according to Wilson County Auditor Verna Gorzell during the July 8 meeting of the Wilson County Commissioners Court.
This would mean that it would cost almost 10 percent more to address the county’s needs than it did under the 2013 fiscal-year budget, which totaled $15,883,193. Under that budget -- which included more than $1.5 million for employee health insurance -- workers received pay increases of at least 3 percent. Employees have received similar salary increases during at least the past four budget cycles.
Gorzell, during the budget workshop portion of the meeting, said the increase included a 5-percent across-the-board pay raise for most county employees. A select few employees could see increases greater than that figure:
•Employees of the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office -- including deputies, jailers, dispatchers, and support staff -- in addition to the 5-percent raise, also would receive an additional $250 per month or $3,000 per year.
•The chief deputy clerk in the Wilson County District Clerk’s Office is being considered for a $5,000 salary increase in her annual salary, due to her longevity. A clerk in the Wilson County Pct. 1 Justice of the Peace’s Office also is being considered for a similar raise, while a clerk in the Pct. 2 justice of the peace’s office is being eyed for a $4,000 salary hike.
In addition to hiring an employee to lead the county’s proposed information technology department, Gorzell said other new hires are being considered. This includes a new attorney for the Wilson County Attorney’s Office -- who will receive a $55,000-per-year starting salary -- a part-time employee of the treasurer’s office being converted to full time, and two additional employees in the Wilson County Tax Assessor/Collector’s Office’s auto registration division.
In addition to the proposed budget, the commissioners discussed many other items during their more-than-three-hour-long meeting. Included among them was the Nov. 5, 2013, constitutional amendment election, for which the commissioners voted to have just five polling places, due to expected low voter turnout. Following a recommendation from County Clerk Eva Martinez, polling places are above.
In other business, the commissioners dedicated a portion of the meeting to a public hearing on proposed renovations to the Wilson County Courthouse and the Wilson County Courthouse Annex III, and the relocation of the Sam Fore Jr. Wilson County Public Library. Stockdale Mayor Ray Wolff asked the commissioners to consider forming a partnership between his city’s library and the county’s library, which would include bringing Internet and computers to Stockdale.
The branch relationship, he said, also could reduce the Floresville facility’s need to expand, as state officials have deemed the current 5,000-square-foot building on the courthouse square to be inadequate based on the county’s resident population.
Also with regard to the capital improvements, for which the county has published its intent to borrow $8.5 million, Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney called a 15-minute recess to meet in his office with Gorzell, financial advisor Bob Henderson, and architect Lyndsay Thorn. When they reconvened, Quinney said the county might be able to meet its needs by borrowing $8 million.
Any money left over after making improvements to the three buildings could be spent on repairing county roads or establishing the county’s first-ever animal-control program, Quinney said.
Proposed polling places for Wilson County constitutional amendment election, Nov. 5, 2013:
•Oak Hills Community Church, boxes 101, 415, and 416.
•American Legion Hall, Floresville, boxes 102, 103, 104, 206, and 207.
•Poth City Hall, boxes 205, 208, and 209.
•La Vernia Volunteer Fire Department, boxes 310-313.
•Stockdale Community Building, box 414.
In attendance: Wilson County Judge Marvin Quinney and commissioners Albert Gamez Jr., Paul Pfeil, Ricky Morales, and Larry Wiley; County Clerk Eva Martinez, County Attorney Daynah Fallwell, Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., County Auditor Verna Gorzell, Treasurer Jan Hartl, Cynthia Peck of the Sam Fore Jr. Wilson County Public Library, Assistant County Auditor Kristin Labus, Lisa Eberhardt of the Wilson County Auditor’s Office, Theresa Frucht of the Wilson County Emergency Management Agency, Coordinator Edwin Baker of the Wilson County Health and Public Safety Office, and Kaitlyn Eberhardt of the Wilson County Clerk’s Office.
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