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Salary increases for officials still hot topic

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A change in sheriffs and inconsistency in the way Augusta calculates public sector salaries recently made it clear how much, or how little, those in charge make.

No sooner had the ink dried on new Richmond County Sher­iff Richard Roundtree’s request for a salary resembling that of predecessor Ronnie Strength, he was joined by new Solicitor-General Kellie Kenner-McIntyre, who also wanted more than the minimum required under state law.

Augusta Commission members soon realized that they had never approved the similar local “supplement” they had been paying Tax Commissioner Steven Kendrick for four years.

Roundtree’s supplement, which raised his salary to $126,500, places him among 13 Augusta-Richmond County employees who earn more than $120,000, four of whom are State Court judges.

Of the city’s about 2,300 full-time personnel, 29 earn more than $100,000. Salaries of administrators, engineering and utilities directors and general counsel are in the $130,000 to $137,000 range.

Not to be left out as salaries were being recalculated, Augusta’s two magistrate and civil court judges and probate judge have asked for a higher local supplement, as did the county clerk of court.

The outcry among most rank-and-file city employees, who have been denied a cost-of-living adjustment for several years and in some cases laid off during restructuring and outsourcing of departments, made granting raises dicey, and the commission declined to support the judges’ requested raises last week.

Returning for commission committee approval Monday, however, is a letter of support for the raises to give to Augusta’s legislative delegation, which will have until March 20 to introduce a local bill raising the officials’ salaries. The delegation did the same for certain local elected officials in 2002 and 2006. It can pass the raises without commission approval, but the extra pay comes from the city’s budget.


A survey of salaries paid to high-profile public officials:

Ricardo AzzizGeorgia Regents University president$636,000
Charles NagleColumbia County Schools superintendent$206,452
J. Carlisle OverstreetAugusta Circuit Chief Superior Court judge$187,352
Frank RobersonRichmond County Schools superintendent$170,000
Terry ElamAugusta Technical College president$164,928
Gary LeTellierAugusta Regional Airport executive director$150,000
Ashley WrightAugusta Circuit district attorney$146,700
Fred RussellAugusta city administrator$136,859
Andrew MacKenzieAugusta general counsel$136,859
Kay AllenColumbia County tax commissioner$135,597
Clay WhittleColumbia County sheriff$135,760
Elaine JohnsonRichmond County clerk of Superior Court$130,915
Richard RoundtreeRichmond County sheriff$126,500
Scott JohnsonColumbia County administrator$126,000
Dayton SherrouseAugusta Canal Authority executive director$116,000
Steven KendrickRichmond County tax commissioner$114,524
Chris JamesAugusta fire chief$110,000
Harry JamesRichmond County probate judge$109,506
Kellie Kenner-McIntyreRichmond County solicitor-general$106,700
Margaret WoodardAugusta Downtown Development Authority executive director$85,000.24
Deke CopenhaverAugusta mayor$75,844.86

Sources: Augusta and Columbia County human resources; Richmond and Columbia county schools; State of Georgia, courts officials

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seenitB4 03/09/13 - 07:11 pm

$636,000 are you kidding .....zzzzzzzzzzz

studmuffin1533 03/10/13 - 07:08 am
Fire them all. Except Fred.

None of these people are worth their salaries. Except Fred Russel.
Fred has the toughest job in town: trying to get a herd of cats (the commission) to actually get something done while getting shot at by everyone.
If it wasn't for abuse, Fred wouldn't get any attention at all. Go Fred!
(I am not related to Fred).

Benjamin Paine
Benjamin Paine 03/10/13 - 10:31 am

Does anyone know the total dollar value of Azziz's salary and benefits package? Is there additional compensation from the hospital? Doesn't he also have free housing and other benefits? I seem to recall earlier posts indicating he had things like a personal chef. It would be interesting to know the total cost to the taxpayers.

countyman 03/10/13 - 11:31 am
The Chronicle loves to put

The Chronicle loves to put the suburb county beside the main county. There's over six counties in the metro, and probably around 20 in the CSRA.

Why does the third largest county in the metro get more coverage than Aiken? Why do they continue to act like Richmond/Columbia are peers?

I think we all know the answer why.

TCB22 03/10/13 - 01:11 pm
County man

This is good advice, so please consider it. Stop reading the paper and its comments. You are a one-man show and your constant cheer leading is mostly nonsense that is going to give you an ulcer. You cannot use words to overcome the reality of what people see and what is truth. Give yourself a break

paperhearts 03/10/13 - 02:32 pm
No raises for officials before employees.

They should be concerned with the city employees who are not being paid a cost of living wage, have not had raises in many many years although health insurance and taxes have gone up and have had to deal with furloughs. How in Hell is Margaret Woodard getting paid more than the mayor, she does nothing for our downtown but screw everything up and chase people away. They should default her salary to the city employees, that would give them a little bump.

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