Shelby County considering raises for elected officials

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County commissioners are considering ordinances that would give raises to a number of elected county positions — some more considerable than others.

For example, the county mayor would make just over $172,000 a year — roughly 17 percent more than what the position pays now.

The sheriff would make nearly $155,000 a year, a roughly 24 percent hike.

Those increased dollar amounts would be similar to what Memphis's mayor and police director make, respectively.

Other proposed raises include a roughly $16,000 bump for the County Clerk and a $3,000 raise for all county commissioners, except the chairman.

Commissioner Van Turner says elected officials have made cuts and saved money in recent years.

"Do we reward county officials who've done a great job in lean times or do we stay as status quo?" Turner asked.

He says elected official salaries in Shelby County are less than comparably sized counties and need to go up.

But Commissioner Terry Roland says they should stay where they are.

"These are elected offices, you know what they are, you know what the money is," Roland said. "If you don't like it, don't run. You shouldn't make a living off the people."

The ordinances require three readings and a two-thirds majority vote. Commissioners are set to make a final decision next month.

If approved, the raises would take effect Sept. 1 next year.