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Augusta Commission to consider salary supplement for sheriff, solicitor

Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013 2:50 PM
Last updated Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 1:10 AM
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Tasked with deciding whether to supplement Richmond County’s new sheriff and state court solicitor above and beyond their minimum salaries, the Augusta Commission heads into tricky but not uncharted waters.

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Sheriff Richard Roundtree's salary would increase from $110,000 to $127,000 if a plan presented to the Augusta Commission behind closed doors at a Jan. 27 legal meeting is approved.  FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
Sheriff Richard Roundtree's salary would increase from $110,000 to $127,000 if a plan presented to the Augusta Commission behind closed doors at a Jan. 27 legal meeting is approved.

Several city officials confirmed that Sheriff Richard Roundtree and Solicitor General Kellie Kenner-McIntyre requested local salary supplements of 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively, less than a month into each elected official’s first term.

The increases, presented to commissioners behind closed doors at a Jan. 27 legal meeting, would bring Roundtree’s salary from $110,000 to $127,000, slightly more than that of his predecessor Ronnie Strength, a Richmond County law officer of nearly 40 years who served three terms.

Kenner-McIntyre’s pay would increase from $97,000, the same amount paid her predecessor Charles Evans, to $106,700.

The salaries of local elected officials are determined by a complicated state formula that takes into account population, longevity, state-mandated cost-of-living increases, additional duties, local supplements and local legislation.

The minimum salary for a sheriff in a county such as Richmond whose population is between 200,000 and 249,000 is $86,592.30, according to the 2013 salary guide published by Association County Commissioners of Georgia. That figure is increased by $3,883.08 if a sheriff serves the courts, which Roundtree does, then adjusted by state-mandated cost-of-living adjustments of 2.89 percent and 3 percent, regardless of when the sheriff took office. For re-elected sheriffs, there’s also a 5 percent pay hike each time he or she wins another term.

The state total for Richmond County, $95,892.14, however, is superseded by local legislation. House Bill 831, sponsored in 2005 by Reps. Pete Warren, Henry Howard and Quincy Murphy, set the minimum salary of the Richmond County sheriff at $110,000.

House Bill 831 also set the Richmond County solicitor’s salary at $97,000.

Sheriff salaries vary widely among the state’s largest counties, from $102,095 paid to the sheriff of Forsyth County, population 181,840, to $146,239 paid to the sheriff of Fulton County, which has nearly 1 million residents, according to a 2012 salary survey from Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

News of the requests upset some employees, who have not been granted a raise this year by the commission, and from open government activists, who questioned why the requests were made behind closed doors.

“I’ve already had 10 to 12 deputies calling me raising hell about it,” Commissioner Joe Jackson said.

City General Counsel Andrew MacKenzie placed the Jan. 27 discussion behind closed doors about the request firmly within the “deliberating compensation of a public officer” exception to the Georgia Open Records Act. The law does not require the conversations to be private. Neither Roundtree nor Kenner-McIntyre returned calls requesting comment.

City Administrator Fred Russell said the commission likely won’t deliberate the raises in public but would vote on them publicly, possibly at a called legal meeting Monday.

Augusta’s administrator is authorized to award employee raises of 15 percent or less without commission approval, but not for elected officials, MacKenzie said.

While both Roundtree and Kenner-McIntyre are new to their jobs, Russell said he will recommend the commission award the requested increases.

“They fit right in within the scope of what they do,” Russell said. “You can also make the argument (for the sheriff’s salary) that that fits into the general framework for supervising 800 employees.”

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Grandpa Jones
1063
Points
Grandpa Jones 02/10/13 - 05:16 pm
3
4
...

To be fair to any sheriff of Richmond County, the job is underpaid. Over ten years ago, Mike Brockman who was the CEO over Community Mental Health Center (CMHC) was supposedly making $130,000...might been making more. (This isn't including the millions of dollars that him and Robin Williams had schemed out of this agency). Brockman never was over more than than 500 employees and definitely never had the responsibilities that a sheriff would have during the day/week. Now, fast-forward and look at the sheriff of Richmond County and the various duties that he is responsible for and the number of employees that he is over. $130,000 salary is chicken-feed.

proud2bamerican
441
Points
proud2bamerican 02/10/13 - 05:59 pm
1
2
this is the ultimate "red flag"...

If you think for a minute that the audacity and attitude of entitlement of these two only applies to their salaries, then get ready for more disappointments. What a great way to show appreciation to those who voted for them!! It is a SAD state of affairs to think that we have just gained two more community leaders who think more highly of themselves than the betterment of their community. Hire more deputies and reward the ones who have earned a pay raise so that we can have a safer community for our families. Reward YOURSELVES???? ...just plain sickening...

seenitB4
90795
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seenitB4 02/10/13 - 06:00 pm
2
2
Grandpa Jones I agree withya

look at the sheriff of Richmond County and the various duties that he is responsible for and the number of employees that he is over. $130,000 salary is chicken-feed.

Chicken feed for a very important job...the whole department needs regrading....

proud2bamerican
441
Points
proud2bamerican 02/10/13 - 07:00 pm
1
1
not the same

Grandpa is not comparing apples to apples. Period.

Darby
26926
Points
Darby 02/10/13 - 07:05 pm
2
3
"When a new President is elected is he/she paid less....

than the previous one? "

Please tell me you didn't attempt to make a direct comparison between the sheriff of Richmond County and The office of the president of the United States.

That was exactly what I was trying to discourage with my Hail to the Chief comment.

Darby
26926
Points
Darby 02/10/13 - 07:07 pm
3
3
"$130,000 salary is chicken-feed."

Only if you can legitimately earn the salary... This guy's history suggests that he isn't up to the task. Let him prove he is, then pay him accordingly.

Darby
26926
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Darby 02/10/13 - 07:53 pm
2
1
Well, I see by that really quick...

Thumbs Down... that somebody thinks, "It's just taxpayer money, what the heck.... that's a bottomless well."

seenitB4
90795
Points
seenitB4 02/10/13 - 08:00 pm
3
2
Why would I say that is chicken feed

Because I know some repairmen making $90,000 & $95,000 a year ..that is why....also some workers at SRS making $100,000 or more....
NOT supervisors.....workers...

Darby
26926
Points
Darby 02/10/13 - 07:58 pm
1
1
"some workers at SRS making $100,00 or more...."

Whatever $100,00 is, when Richmond County starts cutting the check, you will let us know won't you?

seenitB4
90795
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seenitB4 02/10/13 - 08:02 pm
0
1
correction..

We aren't perfect are we...

Just curious....suppose Scott or Sanders had won.....what do yall think their salary should be?

itsanotherday1
45404
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itsanotherday1 02/10/13 - 08:39 pm
2
1
Not necessarily...

"The Sheriff of Richmond County deserves a larger salary, no matter who he is, than the Sheriff of Columbia County."

An employee's value is determined my his/her employer, in this case the local taxpayers, represented by commissioners.

The position of sheriff should have an established salary based on what the people (represented) decide. It is an elected position and if you don't like the salary, don't run for the position. I'm not going to apply for a job who's compensation is beneath what I feel my value is.

It think it is pretty darned ballsy to gain an office, then say "you ain't paying me enough". Clay Whittle didn't do that.

If the local government wants to increase the salary for an elected office, make the change effective for the next election. Anything else smells like a 3 day old fish.

Darby
26926
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Darby 02/10/13 - 08:39 pm
2
0
"...what do yall think their salary should be?"

It should be the very least that the taxpayer can get away with paying. And it should go up (or down) depending on the level of performance.

itsanotherday1
45404
Points
itsanotherday1 02/10/13 - 08:49 pm
2
1
@myfather

I have to disagree with you on this point:

"What is so hard about his job? It's TIME consuming, thats about it. It's not like he is out there working his fingers to the bone. The Sheriff's job consists mostly of MEETINGS. Meeting with this group or that group,"

I spent the last few years of my career as a manager over $5M worth of business and 15 or so employees. It is much more mentally draining from a point of responsibility than when I was a front line employee being managed.

The front line guys think all we do is stand around in meetings and drink wine. I wish....

seenitB4
90795
Points
seenitB4 02/10/13 - 08:54 pm
1
3
Hey anotherday :)

You said...

It think it is pretty darned ballsy to gain an office, then say "you ain't paying me enough

I want my Sheriff to be ballsy (as you say) heh.....we don't want a dang pushover......

seeya in the am ......I agree with what you said to happy.....I also have slightly changed some views by listening,...:)

scoobynews
3896
Points
scoobynews 02/10/13 - 08:55 pm
2
0
LOL Cross Creek has more

LOL Cross Creek has more gradutes than Grovetown! Where do you think most of the people came from who live in Grovetown? Yep a lot of them are former Richmond County residents. How do I know because I was one of them then I realized all the Richmond county rift raft came there too so I packed up again and moved. Grovetown is fast becoming a mini south Augusta. As for RCBOE schools, I taught in those too so I know first hand what goes on there and who makes it to the top compared to who doesn't. You can't even compare Davidson to the rest of the schools in that county. It may as well be a PRIVATE school because they only take the best and the brightest. Hand picked and you can be "kicked out" back to your "home" school.

Truth Matters
7161
Points
Truth Matters 02/11/13 - 12:18 am
0
2
Pay

I wish half the people here were as angry at congress for taking long recess breaks, holding up appointments, putting holds on nominations, and just wasting time, as you are about these two characters.

It is possible to be angry about both, and if you are write your Congressman and insist that they stop guffing off in front of the cameras and get to work.

Riverman1
86917
Points
Riverman1 02/11/13 - 11:32 am
1
3
I believe it was said earlier

I believe it was said earlier Ronnie Strength hadn't taken a raise in many years. That may have caused the salary to be lower than it should be. Raises have to come sometime for elected officials. Plus, no elected official around here has started at a lower salary than his predecessor that I know of.

In my opinion, the position of sheriff of such a large population and force should certainly be higher than sheriffs of neighboring counties.

So what do you see happening...5-5 Commission vote with the Mayor breaking the tie? I have a feeling Deke just may surprise you with his vote.

GnipGnop
12466
Points
GnipGnop 02/11/13 - 10:35 am
3
0
I would like to see Deke have to make a choice...

but I see him pandering to a certain side. His aspirations run higher than just Mayor and he will want a certain voting bloc to remember he stood with them.

Austin Rhodes
2907
Points
Austin Rhodes 02/11/13 - 10:20 am
3
1
The Mayor will never get to make that vote...

...because now that Marion Williams has thrown down the gauntlet with the Patch abstention, they will NEVER get to 5-5 tie on a vote to raise these salaries.

N E V E R

lifelongresident
1323
Points
lifelongresident 02/11/13 - 11:27 am
0
0
a restoration of a salary to
Unpublished

a restoration of a salary to a man who is on record wanting to find "other means" or "alternatives" to putting drug dealers and criminals in jail?!?!?!?!? i guess the extra money will be used by sheriff to pay for motel rooms for the "homies" he orders to be released because putting them in jail would be too trying, stressful, and upsetting for them and their mommas

Riverman1
86917
Points
Riverman1 02/11/13 - 11:36 am
1
1
If Austin is right,

If Austin is right, Augusta-Richmond County government may have just come to a 5-4, 1 abstention halt in EVERYTHING except passing out employee certificates for years worked. Kind of sad.

Austin Rhodes
2907
Points
Austin Rhodes 02/11/13 - 08:38 pm
0
1
Marion Williams started it...

...but the tactic cuts both ways...

And as we saw today...I called it perfect.

...point to ponder
760
Points
...point to ponder 02/18/13 - 11:32 am
0
0
pay raise...

When people run for office they know the pay scale at the time.

If they didn't like the pay, they should of "not" run.

If any pay raise consideration is given, it should not be for the current term but for future office holders...next term. End of discusssion.

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