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Sheriff, solicitor still seeking salary supplements

Friday, Feb. 15, 2013 8:42 PM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013 2:16 AM
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The question of whether to supplement the salaries of Richmond County’s new sheriff and State Court solicitor has not gone away.

Augusta Comm­ission member Marion Williams, one of five commissioners who lacked a sixth vote to pass the increases Mon­day, returned the item to next Tues­day’s commission meeting agenda.

“It’s the right thing to do. We’ve got the largest sheriff’s department in the state,” Williams said. “In Atlanta, they’ve got a sheriff who makes $160,000 a year, and he just operates the jail.”

Elected last year, Sheriff Richard Roundtree and Solicitor Kellie Kenner-McIntyre wrote letters to City Administrator Fred Russell in early January offering justification for the amount of pay each is seeking beyond the minimums set by local legislation of $110,000 and $97,000, respectively.

In Roundtree’s letter, which he distributed to the commissioners Thursday, he cites the department’s new initiatives already in the works, such as attaining accreditation and implementing a citizens advisory board and community policing. He goes on to describe his law enforcement background and education, including a master’s degree in psychology and counseling from Troy State University.

“In a salary analysis, I am asking you to consider my duties/responsibilities and qualifications as compared to other county agency heads along with their salaries,” Roundtree wrote. “I would also ask you to consider that a salary of $126,500 is very comparable to other sheriff’s offices and police departments across the region.”

Williams said he had been warned that denying the requests might be setting the city up for litigation.

“If we don’t do this, we can be sued,” he said.

Votes on the increases failed, 5-4, at Monday’s meeting, with Commissioner Grady Smith absent. Smith has said he will be present Tuesday, and Mayor Deke Copenhaver, who can break a 5-5 tie, has a Monday speaking engagement at a four-day conference in Phoenix and might not be present.

Commissioner Bill Lockett, who voted Monday for the increases, said the officials’ credentials, not length of service, and the salaries of other city department heads warrant the supplements.

“It’s fair and equitable when you compare it with the duties and responsibilities of other department heads,” Lockett said.

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Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 02/15/13 - 10:04 pm
22
0
Well now here is where I

Well now here is where I don't understand how they could be sued. He DID know what he'd be making when he took the job.

cz
35
Points
cz 02/15/13 - 10:06 pm
17
0
Pay raise

He knew the pay before he ran let it stand at that!!! He has not proven that he is worth more yet. There are people who work in high risk jobs with radiation and other contamination's that do not make near that and there job will affect the life of others more than his. They do not get raises just because they want one.

Willow Bailey
20595
Points
Willow Bailey 02/15/13 - 10:43 pm
17
1
So, if you don't get your

So, if you don't get your way, just vote on it til you do?

And is Williams trying to say Roundtree is threatening to sue the county or is he just trying to give out ideas?

dichotomy
33485
Points
dichotomy 02/16/13 - 12:54 am
22
1
If we had elected a white

If we had elected a white sheriff the black commissioners would not be supporting this supplement. Elected officals do NOT get paid by credentials. They get elected and paid based on a set beginners salary plus annual raises. If Roundtree and McIntrye wanted to negotiate salaries based on "credentials" they should have went to work in the private sectors. My guess is that neither one of them could make $100k in the private sector. And taking a look at Roundtree's history it seems to me that his credentials don't mean doodly squat. He's lucky to even have a job.

These two ran for office knowing very well what the salaries were. Now they should shut up, quit whining, and prove they can even do a basically satisfactory job.....which we are not even sure of yet. So far all we know they can do is buy a new car and whine for a pay raise.

bumblebeerose
682
Points
bumblebeerose 02/16/13 - 05:01 am
14
0
I would Say

I would say let the citizens of Richmond County vote on it, but we all know the two of them would get it then.

They both new what the pay was before they ran for office they need to accept it and move on and start doing what they were elected to do. If they do not want to do what they were elected to do and want to continue this fight about a raise go home and stay home some one else can come in and do the job for the money posted. Lets just vote them out and hire some one else!!!!!!

eschamb
154
Points
eschamb 02/16/13 - 06:43 am
17
0
Need Somene that will do the job for half their current salary?

Hear ye Augusta, Ga......I will quit my DoD job here in Korea and do the Sheriff's job for half of what he gets right now. You save even more money and you get someone in that wants to help Augusta, Ga, not take from it. earl.s.chambers@us.army.mil, contact me.

tanbaby
1293
Points
tanbaby 02/16/13 - 08:01 am
1
0
why is it that EVERYONE else
Unpublished

why is it that EVERYONE else on a new job have to prove themselves worthy of a raise first???? shouldn't that hold true for these people also ????

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 02/16/13 - 08:30 am
17
1
More Pay?

Sheriff and Solicitor: First of all, you knew the salaries that came with the jobs you were seeking. Second, you haven't proved yet that you're worth that amount! All I can say is, you two really have some nerve to ask for higher pay at this time(so soon after being elected)!!Maybe you should resign and go find the job that will pay what you "think" you are worth(Credentials and education don't mean a thing if a person cannot or does not know how to use it)!

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 02/16/13 - 08:43 am
20
0
Priorities

What is the FIRST thing he asks for when he takes office?

More deputies? Nope.

More patrol cars? Nah.

Pay increases for the deputies out on the street? No, again.

What does he ask for FIRST?

More money for himself.

If only he fought for his deputies as hard as he fights for himself.

CobaltGeorge
160731
Points
CobaltGeorge 02/16/13 - 08:56 am
11
1
You Are Darn Right

they knew what their pay was going to be......but they were born smart enough to know that they have that Genetic supporting power to get the increase in pay when asked for....You owe me attitude.

Riverman1
84889
Points
Riverman1 02/16/13 - 08:59 am
10
0
Everyone Wants to Be Sheriff

Man oh man, we have people in Korea applying for the job and a guy who is radioactive also applying for Sheriff. Take that green glow into the hood and you will stop crime in its tracks.

corgimom
33150
Points
corgimom 02/16/13 - 09:14 am
6
15
If $127,000 was appropriate

If $127,000 was appropriate for Ronnie Strength, why isn't it good enough for Richard Roundtree?

Um, because one is white and the other black? Was Ronnie Strength overpaid, and why weren't people objecting then? Why wasn't Ronnie Strength paid $110,000, if that's what the job is worth?

curly123053
4727
Points
curly123053 02/16/13 - 09:20 am
12
0
Not Yet

They should have at least waited till they were re-elected to a second term and then came back with their list of accomplishments justifying salary supplements. I feel they need to show they are worth the extra money after serving a term. Nobody I know walks into a job and right away asks for more money. You need to prove yourself worthy first.

avidreader
3259
Points
avidreader 02/16/13 - 09:22 am
13
0
Such a Scam!

I want to re-negotiate my salary and have my nine furlough days restored. When pigs fly! I understand that the city and the BOE are two different funding entities; however in times of economic crisis, all public salaries funded by taxpayers should be examined closely, and raises should not be a consideration at this time. I was well aware of my salary when I signed my contract (or, as we educators call it, a "Right to Work" document) for this school year.

If the taxpayers, in general, are taking a hit, so should our public servants. I considered Mr. Roundtree and Ms. McIntyre to be educated people who were above the "suck-off-of-the-government teat" mentality. I guess I was wrong.

Willow Bailey
20595
Points
Willow Bailey 02/16/13 - 09:45 am
16
1
Stop with the race baiting.

Strength started at the current base salary and received increases for the multiple elections that he won. Not once did Strength try to wrangle money out of the over taxed citizens of RC, nor would he take raises when there was no money in the budget to increase the salaries of his men.

Ronnie Strength, honorable, dedicated, honest and missed.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 02/16/13 - 09:57 am
16
1
Dumb

Comparing a rookie sheriff's pay to a retiring sheriff's pay is beyond dumb....

But then again that's what you get with public education and a public sector job.

In the real world, a boss would laugh at a new employee asking to be paid the same as the one he replaced.

Should the next sheriff (regardless of race, experience, etc) be GUARANTEED to be paid as much as Roundtree?

Absolutely ridiculous.

Riverman1
84889
Points
Riverman1 02/16/13 - 10:01 am
5
1
Strength Made What Webster Made at Start?

I believe Strength started at the same salary as Webster made, although I'm not sure. It's also quite possible that a big raise was given to the Sheriff when the old APD merged with the RCSO. It was recognized a larger department should pay its leader more. I'll also guess no Sheriff has made less than his predecessor.

americafirst
966
Points
americafirst 02/16/13 - 10:10 am
8
0
The deputies pay raise was

The deputies pay raise was recently denied. I haven't heard a thing about bringing that up for another vote or the new Sheriff lobbying for a raise for his people. In this county the pay we pay for deputies makes it difficult to hold on to good experienced people. We have no problem retaining sheriffs becuase of low pay. RM, I would also like to know what Strength made his first year in office and if it was above the state mandated minimum salary, the reason his salary was higher.

Little Lamb
46364
Points
Little Lamb 02/16/13 - 10:11 am
14
1
Do it the old fashioned way; EARN IT!

When a new person comes into a governmental position, that person should start at a lower salary than the predecessor. The reason is because the predecessor had accumulated experience and institutional knowledge. The new person needs to work his way up to the higher salary by proving himself capable year after year. It is a slap in the face of thinking Augustans for the Commission to award a raise before the work has been done and found to be worthy of said raise.

Austin Rhodes
2866
Points
Austin Rhodes 02/16/13 - 10:34 am
16
3
Litigation? Oh...there could be litigation...

The Sheriff may have listed various degrees and cop shop certificates on his resume...but when it comes to the law and history of the RCSD someone might want to point him in the direction of the voter approved Merit Board Amendment of 1983. He and his crew seem to have completely missed the fact that the RICHMOND COUNTY SHERIFF does not have the ability to arbitrarily award rank, and is not allowed to arbitrarily place individuals into positions of rank without the proper steps and measures.

With the exception of the Sheriff's secretary and the Chief Deputy, the Sheriff is unable to "place officers into ranked positions at will" . It appears Tree is in violation of this law. NOT policies...STATE LAW.

The promotions of Robert Partain to Colonel, Scott Peebles to Major, Louis Blanchard to Lt, Bill Probus to Lt, Emilio Lampkin to Lt, and Wendy George to Captain, appear to be all suspect under this special local law. (I believe there are others)

I have also been told that none of Roundtree's new hires have gone through the routine polygraph, background checks, drug screening, etc. that were mandatory before he came in. THAT may be a policy change, but I would say it ain't a good one.

JRC2024
9063
Points
JRC2024 02/16/13 - 10:43 am
12
3
corgimom you should be

corgimom you should be ashamed of your comment.

Little Lamb
46364
Points
Little Lamb 02/16/13 - 10:47 am
4
0
Sad

Yes, AvidReader, you were wrong.

GnipGnop
12280
Points
GnipGnop 02/16/13 - 10:51 am
13
1
Really?

If $127,000 was appropriate for Ronnie Strength, why isn't it good enough for Richard Roundtree?

Um, because one is white and the other black? Was Ronnie Strength overpaid, and why weren't people objecting then? Why wasn't Ronnie Strength paid $110,000, if that's what the job is worth?
I have no problem with a raise when you have proved your worth but to say a new sheriff rates what the outgoing sheriff was paid just because it's the same office? Then throwing the race card in to boot? I usually agree with your post corgi but this one is really laughable...

Riverman1
84889
Points
Riverman1 02/16/13 - 11:00 am
3
4
Oh Austin, that's really

Oh Austin, that's really nitpicking. Heck, even Freddie Sanders was fired when the departments combined. Ronnie Strenth was promoted a couple of grades above everyone else before he became Sheriff.

Austin Rhodes
2866
Points
Austin Rhodes 02/16/13 - 11:18 am
10
1
Fired?

No idea what you are talking about...but if Freddie is your buddy...I would give him a call on this one.

He wrote the law.

sand gnat
523
Points
sand gnat 02/16/13 - 11:26 am
5
1
Augusta politics

You would think the mayor would demonstrate enough leadership to attend this meeting. Sure hope Grady puts a halt to this foolishness.

americafirst
966
Points
americafirst 02/16/13 - 11:48 am
2
1
I don't think your

I don't think your interpretation of that law is accurate, Austin but it has been awhile since I have reviewed it. The chief deputies and the sheriff's secretary work at the Sheriff's pleasure and the new sheriff can fire and replace those holding those positions without cause. Robert Partain's position is considered a chief deputy slot (as was Col. Powell's). All other employees can not be disciplined, demoted, or suffer any adverse employment action except upon cause. There are appeal procedures in place to a Merit Review Board that any aggreived RCSO employee can appeal to as a check and balance over the Sheriff's disciplinary decisions.

ringlett1
13
Points
ringlett1 02/16/13 - 11:54 am
11
0
Raises

Pay raises were never mentioned in their campaign speeches.

Little Lamb
46364
Points
Little Lamb 02/16/13 - 11:58 am
8
0
Welcome

Welcome to the forum, Ringlett1. Yours is a very good comment. Roundtree and McIntyre campaigned eagerly for the jobs, never once lamenting about the low pay they would have to endure for the good of the city. In fact, now we see that McIntyre campaigned under a different name than she now goes by. I guess honesty in government is not valued by Roundtree & McIntyre.

Riverman1
84889
Points
Riverman1 02/16/13 - 12:15 pm
5
1
Austin, sure it's kind of a

Austin, sure it's kind of a joke about Freddie being fired, but he WAS let go and he jokes they didn't even call him to let him know he was let go. He understood there was not a position for him when the forces combined.

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