Some Augusta Commissioners say it’s deserved, even if it’s not easy to talk about.
“It is difficult to ask for a raise for yourself because people, as a whole, have a negative attitude towards that,” says Commissioner Dennis Williams.
But the attitude of city leaders last week when they sat down with area state lawmakers was to ask for a review of the salaries of elected officials, including the mayor and commissioners, with the idea raises are in order.
“We think people are going to say ‘you’re in there to get something for yourself’ if I fight for other folks I’m certainly going to fight for myself,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
Right now commissioners make about $15 to $16 thousand dollars a year, some say not enough, considering the work load, that’s more than just attending meetings.
“I do believe that it is needed because if you have a county commissioner that’s actually out in the community doing the work of the community it requires a lot of your time,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
“This job should pay at least $30 thousand dollars a year at least that’s on the low side,” said Commissioner Marion Williams.
Commissioners can’t raise their own pay, state lawmakers would have to approve.
“I think the conversation should be had, I really have no problem with the concept of having a raise. You’re talking about multi million dollar companies coming in and we’re talking about attracting new people to the commission, younger people, how are you going to be able to do that with the pay scale it is?” said State Senator Harold Jones.
Representative Wayne Howard says absolutely the pay scale for the Mayor and Commissioners needs to be reviewed.
The delegation did ask the commission for more information such as what do commissioners make in other Georgia cities and exactly how much are Augusta City leaders asking for.