Sunday, February 26, 2006

Chairman's Salary: Who Decides?

Today in the Macon Telegraph, a letter from County Commissioner Bert Bivins, III, stated that decisions about the salary of the Commission Chair should be up to the Bibb County Commission and suggested rather strongly that the local legislative delegation not meddle. This history here is that prior to the 2004 election, the commission acted to change the salary from full to part- time and to hire a county manager. Some thought that the move was an attempt to prevent one particular person from giving up his full time job to run. I recall Bishop stating, during the campaign, that the part-time salary was not a problem for him. Now, I hear that Rep. Freeman is trying to get the legislative delegation to consider raising the chairman's salary. Here's the full text. What are your thoughts?

Let's keep Charlie Bishop's salary a local matter
During the election campaign for county commission chairman in 2004, the commission chairman's salary was made an issue. One candidate accused the other of wanting to raise the salary from $20,000 a year to nearer $100,000 annually. At one time there was talk of having a full-time chairman and a chief executive officer, both making close to $100,000 a year. I opposed that idea because of the cost to the taxpayers, and we don't need both full time.
From time to time, over the last six to eight months, I've heard different individuals say there is an effort under way to raise the salary of the part-time chairman. During the course of the 2004 election, it seemed clear the public did not want to pay two big salaries. The Bibb County Commission could raise the chairman's salary. That would be an attempt which would be public. Having it raised by the state Legislature would amount to an attempt at public deceit. I think it is hoped the public won't be paying attention to what gets done in the state Legislature.
The Bibb County Commission decided to go to a chief executive officer in order to ensure that the work of the county is done by someone who is a professional and experienced at county management. The salary of the part-time chairman was discussed and set by a unanimous vote.
I believe the intent of the board was that the chief executive officer would operate the county on a day-to-day basis, without interference. The part-time chairman would conduct meetings, sign papers and coordinate between the board and the chief executive officer.
I oppose our legislative delegation getting involved in setting the chairman's salary. Let's keep the chairman's salary a local matter.
Bert Bivins III

No comments: