Union County Commissioner's Salary

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Dawsonville, GA

#1 May 19, 2012
I've a question. Does the salary limit that's in the County Code of Ordinance apply only to the starting salary or does the "now or hereafter" wording mean that it's always the upper limit?

Union County Code of Ordinance says:

Section 6.- Salary

(a)

The commissioner shall receive an annual salary which shall be equal to $4,800.00 above the annual salary now or hereafter received by the elective county officer of Union County who receives the highest annual salary pursuant to general or local law. For purposes of this subsection, the elective county officers of Union County shall be the clerk of the superior court, sheriff, judge of the probate court and tax commissioner of Union County. Such salary for the commissioner shall be paid in equal monthly installments from the funds of Union County.
Forchange

Williston, SC

#2 May 19, 2012
question wrote:
I've a question. Does the salary limit that's in the County Code of Ordinance apply only to the starting salary or does the "now or hereafter" wording mean that it's always the upper limit?
Union County Code of Ordinance says:
Section 6.- Salary
(a)
The commissioner shall receive an annual salary which shall be equal to $4,800.00 above the annual salary now or hereafter received by the elective county officer of Union County who receives the highest annual salary pursuant to general or local law. For purposes of this subsection, the elective county officers of Union County shall be the clerk of the superior court, sheriff, judge of the probate court and tax commissioner of Union County. Such salary for the commissioner shall be paid in equal monthly installments from the funds of Union County.
These high salarys are a gross waste of tax payers moneys!
Average

Dawsonville, GA

#3 May 19, 2012
Those salaries are not high and they are equal, if not lower,than the rest of the country earns. Some people on this forum are so out of touch with reality. My retirement is close to those salaries and I've got long term benefits, too. I wonder if the people who post here are old and don't really know what is going on in the rest of the world or they are low-achievers who never amounted to much.

Don't waste your time quoting what other counties pay their officials because Georgia is 30 years behind the rest of the country.
vote

Canton, GA

#4 May 19, 2012
Forchange wrote:
<quoted text>These high salarys are a gross waste of tax payers moneys!
Amen. They should try to live on what the rest of us earn.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#5 May 19, 2012
Union County Code of Ordinances (UCCO) Article I., Section 6., para(a)concerning the salary of the office of commissioner is superseded in part by Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) 36-5-25 (a) in that a sole commissioners salary is set based on the sheriff's salary.

So data from the ACOG website shows the commissioner's salary as of 11/21/11 at $97,278 and the sheriff's salary at $73,689. The UCCO above states that the salary shall not exceed $4800 above the annual salary now or hereafter received by the (sheriff) of Union county.

Note that the "elected" officers of the UCCO are actually the elected constitutional officers in the county. The office of commissioner is not a constitutional office but rather a position created and amended by the county's Code of Ordinances.

So the present commissioner is making $23,589, or $18,789 more than the UCCO allows. One could assume that the official notice put out by the commissioner pursuant to OCGA 36-5-24 and acted on May 15, 2012 was the commissioner adjusting his salary to be in compliance with the County Code, or not.

Note that the UCCO also allows $200 per month expenses for in county travel and unlimited expenses when out of the county plus expenses incurred when using personal vehicles.

The combination of the OCGA's and UCCO are quite specific, records of salary are open as well as expense accounts.

The citizens grand jury sits as overseer of government activities in order to protect the citizens rights. This might be of interest for the current grand jury to investigate and provide to the district attorney as a presentment for him to prosecute, should they agree with the law and find validity in the knowledge they find here and/or presented to them.
Forchange

Williston, SC

#6 May 19, 2012
Average wrote:
Those salaries are not high and they are equal, if not lower,than the rest of the country earns. Some people on this forum are so out of touch with reality. My retirement is close to those salaries and I've got long term benefits, too. I wonder if the people who post here are old and don't really know what is going on in the rest of the world or they are low-achievers who never amounted to much.
Don't waste your time quoting what other counties pay their officials because Georgia is 30 years behind the rest of the country.
Low-achievers who were ripped off by the sorry people like you.Taat were overpayed like our politicions are!!!!
Tsplost

Dawsonville, GA

#7 May 19, 2012


Lamar likes to be top dog.


My Two Senses

Jefferson, GA

#9 May 20, 2012
OathKeeper wrote:
Union County Code of Ordinances (UCCO) Article I., Section 6., para(a)concerning the salary of the office of commissioner is superseded in part by Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) 36-5-25 (a) in that a sole commissioners salary is set based on the sheriff's salary.
So data from the ACOG website shows the commissioner's salary as of 11/21/11 at $97,278 and the sheriff's salary at $73,689. The UCCO above states that the salary shall not exceed $4800 above the annual salary now or hereafter received by the (sheriff) of Union county.
Note that the "elected" officers of the UCCO are actually the elected constitutional officers in the county. The office of commissioner is not a constitutional office but rather a position created and amended by the county's Code of Ordinances.
So the present commissioner is making $23,589, or $18,789 more than the UCCO allows. One could assume that the official notice put out by the commissioner pursuant to OCGA 36-5-24 and acted on May 15, 2012 was the commissioner adjusting his salary to be in compliance with the County Code, or not.
Note that the UCCO also allows $200 per month expenses for in county travel and unlimited expenses when out of the county plus expenses incurred when using personal vehicles.
The combination of the OCGA's and UCCO are quite specific, records of salary are open as well as expense accounts.
The citizens grand jury sits as overseer of government activities in order to protect the citizens rights. This might be of interest for the current grand jury to investigate and provide to the district attorney as a presentment for him to prosecute, should they agree with the law and find validity in the knowledge they find here and/or presented to them.
I don't see how to reconcile what the law says and what his salary is. Am I one of the "confused?"

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#10 May 20, 2012
If we are paying Lamar close to 100 grand and Larry Garrett 75 or so and they still can't run the county efficiently then I would think it is time to show them the Highway and get a country boy who knows the value of a dollar.
Floridian

Orlando, FL

#11 May 20, 2012
To answer the original question. "Shall" means must and "now or hearafter" means at any time. So.. that person MUST recieve a salary $4800 more than the highest paid officer at all times.
My Two Senses

Jefferson, GA

#12 May 20, 2012
Floridian wrote:
To answer the original question. "Shall" means must and "now or hearafter" means at any time. So.. that person MUST recieve a salary $4800 more than the highest paid officer at all times.
That's my interpretation. I don't see the justification, nor the legal basis, for a greater salary. Maybe I'm one of those confused ones also.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#13 May 20, 2012
"I don't see how to reconcile what the law says and what his salary is. Am I one of the "confused?"

If in fact the commissioner did not adjust his salary to be in compliance with the Code Ordinances as required by law, when the called meeting was held on May 15th, then he is in violation of the law.

To investigate this is the responsibility of the grand jury. If they find that the law has been broken and they judge the law to be good then they must bring a presentation of findings to the District Attorney for prosecution.

This is the Constitutional way of the citizens redress of grievances. Is this the way it is done in the southern Appalachians? Of course it isn't. The judiciary has corrupted all juries and made them into a servant of the state.

Juries are the keystone of our American jurisprudence system and can be reclaimed for use by the People.
My Two Senses

Jefferson, GA

#14 May 20, 2012
My Two Senses wrote:
<quoted text>
That's my interpretation. I don't see the justification, nor the legal basis, for a greater salary. Maybe I'm one of those confused ones also.
I want to make it clear that I'm not saying, and will not say, any laws are, or have been, broken regarding this topic. I'm saying that I don't understand how to reconcile all this.

Since: May 12

Location hidden

#15 May 20, 2012
The question in the thread addresses the commissioner's salary spread allowed by the law. It would appear from looking at the OCGA's and UCCO's that the law has been broken. But this is for a grand jury to investigate.

Whether the salary is commensurate with the tasks being preformed is another question entirely and will probably be answered at the ballot box in November.

But the authorization for what appears to be big salaries for such a small county are of interest. The salaries for county officers is set by the state legislature, for some reason, and not by the local community. Monthly training bonuses are superimposed on the base salary which is adjusted each year for COLA allowances, ranging from 2% to 3.5% in the 2002 -2006 years, plus tenure allowances of 2.5% for four year officers.

Union County has three relatively long tenured officers. Would it not be a considerable cost saving to the county budget to reset these three salaries to the base line salary (by not re-electing them)?
Heres your fix

Commerce, GA

#16 May 20, 2012
Well, if Lamar's pay is out of line, he can settle the issue by giving the Tax Commissioner a pay raise for the fine job he's done.(If there's any money left in the cash drawer).
This type of pay system is just begging for corruption with the sole-commissioner system, even with a multi commissioner system.

(b) The appointment and removal of, and the compensation to be paid to, persons filling offices and positions created by state statute, where not otherwise prescribed by such statute, shall be made and fixed by the commissioner.
http://library6.municode.com/default-test/hom ...
Georgia Dept of Community Affairs-DCA
2010 County Wage & Salary Survey
Compensation of Elected County Officials- Union County (pop. 21,351)
http://www.dca.ga.gov/dcawss/reports.html
Commissioner-sole 97,278
Tax Commissioner 79,998
Sheriff 73,689
Probate Court Judge 66,512
Superior Court Clerk 60,923
Magistrate Court Judge 62,483
Coroner 3,900
Heres your fix

Commerce, GA

#17 May 20, 2012
In July 2010, when two Los Angeles Times reporters, Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives, were investigating possible malfeasance in the neighboring city of Maywood, it was revealed that Bell city officials were receiving unusually large salaries, perhaps the highest in the nation. The salaries came into the public eye after a Los Angeles Times investigation, based on California Public Records Act requests, showed the city payroll was swollen with six- to seven-figure salaries. The city manager Robert Rizzo received $787,637 a year (almost double the salary of the President of the United States). Including benefits, he received $1.5 million in the last year. Rizzo's assistant Angela Spaccia, was earning $376,288 a year, more than the top administrator for Los Angeles County. The police chief, Randy Adams, was paid $457,000, 33% more the Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. All three resigned following news reports and public outcry. All but one of the members of the city council were receiving $100,000 for their part-time work, salaries which were authorized by a special election, giving the city Charter status. Council members in cities similar to Bell in size make an average of $4,800 a year, prosecutors have noted.

On September 15, 2010, the California Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit against eight former and current employees, requesting the return of what the suit calls "excessive salaries" as well a reduction in pension benefits accrued as a result of those higher salaries. Allegations about problems in the 2009 election also have been examined by the FBI and California Secretary of State office. The city's high property taxes are also being investigated. On September 21, 2010, former city manager Robert Rizzo, Mayor Oscar Hernandez, former assistant city manager Angela Spaccia and council members George Mirabal, Teresa Jacobo, Luis Artiga, George Cole and Victor Bello were arrested and charged with misappropriation of public funds. The mayor and council members retain their posts pending conviction or recall.

The revelations about the salary amounts paid to city officials in Bell have to led media inquires into salaries paid in other cities. After a review, the L.A. Times found frequent failures in audits of public agencies in other municipalities in California.
Heres your fix

Commerce, GA

#18 May 20, 2012
OathKeeper wrote:
One could assume that the official notice put out by the commissioner pursuant to OCGA 36-5-24 and acted on May 15, 2012 was the commissioner adjusting his salary to be in compliance with the County Code, or not.
SETTING SALARIES THROUGH HOME RULE AUTHORITY OR LOCAL
LEGISLATION
County commissioners may set their own compensation, expenses and expense allowances by home rule using the procedure set forth in O.C.G.A.§ 36-5-24. If the board wants to exercise its home rule authority, it must do so prior to the date that candidates for election as members of the county governing authority may qualify as candidates for the office (i.e., May 23, 2012). If a timely decision to increase compensation is made and advertised as required, the higher compensation will not be effective until the following January 1. In order to increase compensation under home rule authority, the following procedure must be followed:
Notice. Before deciding to increase compensation, the board of commissioners or sole commissioner must place a notice in the legal organ once a week for three consecutive weeks prior to taking action on the increase. The notice must specify the fiscal impact of the compensation increase.
Decision Before Qualifying. In order to increase compensation, to be effective January 1st of the following year, the commissioners must make the decision to increase compensation before the first day of the qualifying period as a candidate for election to the county governing authority. In other words, the commissioners must make the decision to increase salary before May 23, 2012. Any decision to increase commissioner salary would not become effective until January 1, 2013.
After May 23, 2012, the next opportunity for most counties to increase county commissioners’ compensation through the home rule procedure will be prior to qualifying for election in 2014.12
If a decision to increase compensation via home rule is not made, commissioners have only one other option for increasing their compensation: ask their legislative delegations to increase compensation by local act of the legislature with any increase taking effect on the date specified in the act.

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#19 May 20, 2012
Heres your fix wrote:
Well, if Lamar's pay is out of line, he can settle the issue by giving the Tax Commissioner a pay raise for the fine job he's done.(If there's any money left in the cash drawer).
This type of pay system is just begging for corruption with the sole-commissioner system, even with a multi commissioner system.
(b) The appointment and removal of, and the compensation to be paid to, persons filling offices and positions created by state statute, where not otherwise prescribed by such statute, shall be made and fixed by the commissioner.
http://library6.municode.com/default-test/hom ...
Georgia Dept of Community Affairs-DCA
2010 County Wage & Salary Survey
Compensation of Elected County Officials- Union County (pop. 21,351)
http://www.dca.ga.gov/dcawss/reports.html
Commissioner-sole 97,278
Tax Commissioner 79,998
Sheriff 73,689
Probate Court Judge 66,512
Superior Court Clerk 60,923
Magistrate Court Judge 62,483
Coroner 3,900
I understand that the coroner has an assistant or two. Are they paid and if so how much. I can't imagine why the coroner would need an assistant.
Just Asking Questions

Jefferson, GA

#20 May 20, 2012
Heres your fix wrote:
....On September 15, 2010, the California Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit against eight former and current employees, requesting the return of what the suit calls "excessive salaries" as well a reduction in pension benefits accrued as a result of those higher salaries....
Is it possible the the Georgia Attorney General's office will review this matter?

Since: Mar 11

Location hidden

#21 May 20, 2012
Just Asking Questions wrote:
<quoted text>
Is it possible the the Georgia Attorney General's office will review this matter?
Our Atorney General is as useless as tits on a boar hog. he also has Stan Gunter working for him which makes it useless to even ask. If Gunter is smart he will keep his job there because if he takes the judgeship in two years I think everone will vote him out and he will have to go into private pratice and I doubt he could make a living at that.

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