Thursday, August 08, 2002

Well, This is Bad Timing

Right below the property tax increase story in today's Commercial Appeal (see below), comes news in this story about the hefty raises the Shelby County Commission gave to their staff! Whoops.

Seems the County Commission found out that some of their employees, executive-level that is, were underpaid compared to their City equivalents. These folks didn't get the 50% raise the Commissioners gave themselves last year, but had to make do with 10-15% increases. Poor dears....

The rest of the County employees, who only got 3%, if I recall correctly, are understandably not happy.

Commissioner Michael Hooks, who is also behind the property tax increase, and who also got a get-out-of-jail-free card for his cocaine nab last year, was very defensive.
"One week they're dealing with Shelby Farms, another week it's
zoning," Hooks said. "They're dealing with volatile issues. It's a
high-pressure job. Jobs in other elected officials' offices are
repetitive. All they have to do is follow statutes. Our people show
up on Saturdays for town hall meetings and 6 in the morning if
that's when we need them."

Hooks said he's seen what it's like downtown the minute the
working day is done for most county employees.

"In the county building, the elevator's tied up at 4:30," he said.
Oh, Michael, way to endear yourself to the troops. Besides, those upper tier folks know exactly what they're getting in to before they sign up. The CA further says:
"We've become a training ground for the FedExs of the world that
are able to offer significantly higher salaries than we can," Rout

Overall, hiring and retention is cyclic for the county, Kail said, and
depends on how well the private sector is doing.

"When the private sector is booming like it was two years ago,
we could hardly get enough applicants to fill an eligibility list," he
said. "Now, as the private sector has become weaker, we're
seeing more people turn to county jobs because they're looking
more at security and less at salary."
So, what's wrong with a constant flow of new people being trained in our government for better paying jobs in the private sector? It helps prevent kingdom-making and keeps employees fresh, not bureaucratically stultified.

Are we sure that Hooks is off the rock?

Until next time, that is all.
Your Working Boy

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