Originally created 02/22/06

Raises issue goes to Capitol



ATLANTA - City Attorney Steve Shepard used Tuesday's Augusta Day at the Capitol to try to solve the ongoing disagreement about possible pay raises for elected officials.

The lawmakers are trying to put together a bill this session to raise paychecks for a handful of county officials but are holding off their efforts until the county commission can straighten out salaries locally.

Tuesday was the day that Augusta officials traveled to Atlanta to meet with general assembly members to discuss myriad issues, from the charter to pay raises.

Augusta commissioners are expected to discuss at their meeting today whether to adjust the 8 percent raises inadvertently granted to Richmond County Clerk of Superior Court Elaine Johnson, Sheriff Ronnie Strength, Marshal Steve Smith, State Court Solicitor Harold Jones and Coroner Grover Tuten, along with other county employees, or increase the pay for other elected officials.

The bill being worked on in Atlanta was intended to address salaries for Ms. Johnson, Mr. Strength, Mr. Jones, District Attorney Danny Craig and the Superior Court judges.

"The whole process is being reviewed by both bodies," said City Attorney Steve Shepard.

Mr. Shepard met Tuesday with Rep. Pete Warren, D-Augusta, to go over the salaries.

Reach Vicky Eckenrode at (404) 681-1701 or vicky.eckenrode@morris.com.