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Once again, the Collin County Commissioners are looking at elected officials salaries (including their own).
While the county has gotten a lot of bad press and a whole lot of election rhetoric for their high salaries, they have steadfastly granted themselves a raise every single year.
At the last court meeting 2 weeks ago, Commissioner Cole floated the idea of appointing a citizens board made of of former grand jury members that would recommend annual increases to elected officals salaries.
Frankly, the idea stinks.
It is a cowardly attempt by commissioners to insulate themselves from their legal responsibilities, and to shunt any criticism to a committee. In the discussion 2 weeks ago, Judge Self raised similar concerns. He is right.
The Texas constitution and law require that the Commissioners Court set all salaries for county employees and officials (except for the auditor and court reporters). Commissioners can not escape their responsibility to the voters. Even if they appoint a salary board, it will only have the authority to recommend. Final approval must be by a majority vote of the Commissioners Court.
The taxpayers need to see their commissioners court beginning a discussion on cutting the salaries of the Collin County Commissioners, not of abdicating their well-paid responsibilities.
Commissioners presently make $107,387/year.
To put it into perspective, the total cost of the county judge and commissioners salaries cost Harris County citizens 20 cents a year, but Collin County citizens pay almost six times that much – $1.11 per year - just for commissioners court salaries. Harris County Commissioners oversee a budget of $1.6 billion, Collin County $265 million.
Last year, I wrote: "I believe the commissioners should index their compensation to the four suburban counties closest to us in size – two that are larger, and two smaller. El Paso and Hidalgo are larger – Denton and Fort Bend are smaller. We take the average of those four counties, and then split the difference with the current Collin County scale.
With this new formula, the commissioners would now get paid $91,737, an 8.9% pay cut. The county judge would see his pay cut 8.2 percent to $112,186."
I still believe the court should be focusing on cutting their salaries, not augmenting them.
For previous posts of Commissioners salaries see:
Campaign promises? Oh well! Aug 22, 2007
Raise Season Aug 9, 2007
DMN-Take politics out of commissioners court raises Aug 6, 2007
MCG - Pay Hikes: Commissioners make enough money Aug. 4, 2007
Commissioners play shell game with their salaries. Sept. 5, 2006
Note: The Commissioners Court will meet this Tuesday, April 15 at 1:30 P.M.
The discussion of Elected Officials Salary Advisory Committee is agenda item #8. The Court does allow public comment on any agenda item, simply fill out a card before the meeting to request your right to speak on agenda item #8.
The meeting is on the 6th Floor of the Collin County Courthouse at 210 S. McDonald St. in McKinney
It's good to see you compare per capita and percentage. It is quite amazing how much they are getting in Collin County.
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