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Pay practices spark debate at Coryell County Commissioner's Court meeting

Posted at 7:29 PM, Aug 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-26 22:45:54-04

CORYELL COUNTY — Employees of Coryell County are up in arms after finding out the proposed take home pay of some county judges. While many county workers are only getting 2% cost of living wages, they say a hidden pay raise slipped into the budget.

County employees Central Texas News Now spoke to said that they simply aren’t paid enough. It became a harder pill to swallow when they took a closer look at the proposed budget.

Monday, those county employees and others that call Coryell County home sounded off at the Coryell County Commissioners Court meeting.

"Why can’t we get the help that we deserve?" said one community member.

"No judge deserves a pay raise more than any other county worker, " sounded off another.

One by one, members of Coryell County made their voices heard.

"If you don’t pay people what they need, you’re only training them to go to other departments," said one person.

"Every other department that comes up, every other position that comes up, I hear there is money in the budget for that. Why is there no money to pay employees that we already have?" said former county worker Josiah Mace.

Combing the budget, many county employees are taking issue with their salary after tallying up how much some judges are taking home. Others were calling for Judge Roger Miller to help bring the budget down through his own wage.

When one member asked the judge if he should take a pay cut, Judge Miller said, "No, I think my compensation is in line with what I’m doing."

Some said a stipend was buried in the juvenile probation budget. Judge Roger Miller said that’s not the case.

There are three components of his wage, according to the judge.

"One is the compensation I receive from the county and that’s approximately $47,000, then I also receive a state supplement for the state functions that I perform, and that’s $25,200 I believe," explained Judge Miller.

But the sticking point comes with compensation he receives from participating in the juvenile court board. Along with other judges, he is paid in a separate line item according to a statutory code. That particular stipend was set at $10,955.90.

Others called for Judge Roger Miller to take a pay cut, especially as many departments say their employee salaries are strapped and equipment is failing.

"I’m getting real tired of seeing the county officials being underpaid while you have the commissioners court and the judge large raises and somewhat hiding it in the budget so people will overlook it," said Gatesville resident William Abel.

"There’s just a lot of money issues and not a lot of motivation to adjust it or change it. We’re still operating the county as if we’re in the 1900s," said Mace.

People Central Texas News Now spoke to say they are just starting the conversation, and they are going to keep a watchful eye on the budget.

One point of contention among some speakers is a proposed position in the purchasing department. The Commissioner's Court agreed to remove the position from the budget.