(Shelby County) A proposed $20,000 pay raise for Shelby County Schools board members failed at its first of three readings.
The proposal needed nine votes to pass. Monday’s vote was seven county commissioners for and six against it.
Commissioner Mike Ritz said there’s never a good time for a pay raise, so that’s why they should do it now.
Commissioner Terry Roland said, “I question a lot of things about this. First, the motive.”
He then said that some commissioners want the raise to help pay back money for the lawsuit, asking, “Do you see how bad this looks?!”
Commissioner Chris Thomas urged the commissioners not to support the pay raise, saying the timing is bad.
Commissioner Heidi Shafer also said the school board members weren’t there to rally for the raise, and that she would like to look at the issue again in a year.
It took an hour for commissioners to vote against pay raises for the mayor, sheriff, county clerk, assessor and themselves.
Commissioners also voted to hand over fourteen libraries to the city, and voted against expanding the Cook Convention Center.
The passion continued when people waited nearly five and a half hours to let the commission know they wanted Administrator of Elections Richard Holden gone.
“It’s about the integrity of the election process. If we don’t have that then what value are we to the community,” said one Shelby County voter.
Holden was put on probation after hundreds of people complained about the election process in August.
The commission ended the six-hour meeting expressing “no confidence” in Holden. It was a symbolic vote. They hope it encourages the election commission to take action against him.
Monday night was Commissioner Wyatt Bunker’s last meeting. He is now the Lakeland Mayor. Interviews for his seat will be held January 8 at the commission work session.