The salaries for Richmond County’s new sheriff and state court solicitor won’t be any higher after the Augusta Commission denied increases for both elected officials following a nearly two-hour closed legal meeting Monday.
The salary supplements for Sheriff Richard Roundtree and Solicitor General Kellie Kenner-McIntyre failed 5-4 in separate votes. Commissioners Mary Davis, Joe Jackson, Donnie Smith and Wayne Guilfoyle voted against the increases. Six votes are needed to pass a measure.
Commissioner Grady Smith was absent from the legal session and subsequent committee meetings that lasted more than five hours.
Commissioner Alvin Mason said Roundtree should receive supplemental income because he holds a Masters degree and training from the FBI Academy.
“I didn’t vote for a raise. What I voted for was to be properly compensated for qualifications and experience that is brought to the table by the two individuals,” Mason said.
The proposed supplements were $16,500 for Roundtree and $9,700 for McIntyre. The sheriff’s salary is $110,000 and the solicitor’s $97,000.
“There are guidelines showing that for your qualifications and so forth you are entitled to this and the government can provide certain supplements for you,” said Commissioner Bill Lockett about state formulas that determine salaries for elected officials. “This is what we wanted to do but we didn’t get the votes to do it.”
In committee meetings, commissioners voted to allow City Administrator Fred Russell two weeks to contact two management companies that previously submitted proposals for the Augusta Municipal Golf Course, known as the Patch. The vote also permitted operations at the course to continue while Russell determines if the companies are still interested.
A Virginia Beach management company that was selected to lease the city-owned course withdrew its bid last week.
During a lengthy discussion on the course, several commissioners including Marion Williams, Corey Johnson and Alvin Mason said closing the course is not an option despite it operating in the red. They pointed out that both the Augusta Aquatics Center and Newman Tennis Center routinely lose money.
“If we don’t want to be in the golfing business, we can turn it over to a management company,” Johnson said. “But closing it is not going to look good on us at all.”
Committees also approved the following items:
-the 2013 operating plan for the Augusta Convention Center
-an ordinance amending a policy for the naming and renaming of city-owned buildings and properties.