Commissioners surveyed on pay cut

Friday, February 20, 2009

An informal survey of Marshall County's 18 commissioners asked what percentage they thought would be the appropriate amount to cut their pay and, while only half replied, results indicate support for the pay cut.

Commissioner Mickey King conducted the survey by e-mail, sending the question to his fellow commissioners. King reported the results during a recent non-voting workshop of the commission when some commissioners said they didn't respond because they thought it might violate state law requiring public discussion of government business.

According to King: Two commissioners oppose a pay cut; Two commissioners said 10 percent was appropriate as suggested for all departmental spending; Four said a 30 percent reduction was appropriate; One said a 100 percent cut would be right, and; One commissioner "didn't care."

"I'll do what everybody else does," Commissioner Mary Ann Neill said after the workshop this month.

County commissioners are paid one eighteenth of what the state sets as the salary for the Marshall County mayor. That office's pay is set according to population of the county and is currently set at $71,322, so commissioners are paid some $3,962, but there are provisions regarding absenteeism.

The idea for a pay cut emerged from the commission's request to all department directors to cut their budgets by 10 percent so the total of the government's proposed spending would be lower when the budget is prepared for the next fiscal year which starts on July 1.