Columbia County commissioners picked the worst possible time to lobby their county legislators in Atlanta for a $5,000 annual pay raise for Sheriff Clay Whittle.
Whittle is basically a good sheriff. But have commissioners already forgotten that he remains under enormous pressure to demonstrate that he has the jail under control - i.e., no more escapes in 1997?
If a raise is merited - and we're not saying it isn't when comparing Whittle's $58,000-a-year salary to sheriffs of similar departments - it should ideally take effect for the next term of office.
There are exceptions to every rule but, at this time, why should this be one of them?