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Collin County Commissioners OK raises of 5% for elected officials
Workers expected to get 4%; more for law officers
07:55 AM CDT on Wednesday, August 1, 2007
By ED HOUSEWRIGHT / The Dallas Morning News firstname.lastname@example.org
McKINNEY? -- Collin County commissioners voted 3-2 Tuesday to give themselves and other elected officials a 5 percent raise.
Commissioners rejected a plan discussed Monday to equate their pay to the average pay of their counterparts in the state's five largest counties: Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, Bexar and Travis. Collin is the state's sixth-largest county, according to some estimates.
Commissioner Joe Jaynes said he thought elected officials shouldn't get a larger raise than county employees. Commissioners said they expect to give most workers a 4 percent raise and law enforcement officers a 6 or 7 percent raise for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.
"I think we all need to be on the same page," Mr. Jaynes said.
In the end, Mr. Jaynes voted for the 5 percent increase for elected officials. He said he believes the 4 percent raise for most workers and the higher raises for law enforcement would average out to 5 percent.
Commissioners Phyllis Cole and Jerry Hoagland voted against the 5 percent across-the-board raise for elected officials. Commissioners will now earn $107,373.
The only elected official who won't receive the raise is County Judge Keith Self. Mr. Self, who heads the Commissioners Court and took office Jan. 1, previously vowed not to accept a pay raise. His pay will remain at $136,059.
Mr. Hoagland said he still favored the plan to tie the salaries of Collin County officials to those of their counterparts in the five largest counties.
"I thought we were trying to depoliticize the whole process," Mr. Hoagland said.
Commissioners discussed the proposal as a way to simplify raises for elected officials and avoid political backlash.
Last year, commissioners raised their salaries 17 percent, igniting intense criticism from constituents. Commissioners then froze their salaries, before flip-flopping again and giving themselves a 6 percent raise.
Some Collin County officials earn more than the average of their counterparts in the five largest counties, while others earn less.
Mr. Hoagland proposed raising the salaries of those below the average over two years.
Commissioners earn $102,260, compared with $115,641 -- the average for commissioners in the top five counties.
With a 5 percent raise, the district clerk will earn $107,214, the county clerk $103,321 and justices of the peace $89,866.
Commissioners plan to adopt the overall budget on Sept. 11.
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