Fayette Commission's unannounced non-agenda item: Raises for county workers

There was no way for the public to know what was coming Thursday night — since the item never appeared on a public agenda — but the Fayette County Commission unanimously approved

setting aside $579,000 for employee “pay for performance” raises this year.

The idea was suggested by Commission Chairman Jack Smith, who noted that over the past four years the county has saved $10 million, including $3 million in the recently-ended budget year.

The raises were not listed as an item for discussion on the commission agenda; rather it was brought up during a recommendation from county staff to shift funds based on the $3 million in savings from this year’s budget.

The raises will not be given across the board to all county employees. Instead they will only be given to qualified employees who are vetted through the county’s latest “pay for performance” evaluation program.

That program was adopted three years ago but has never been used, as the economy has led to no pay raises of any kind for county employees the past three years.

Smith said the reason the county has been able to “under-spend” its budget by $10 million in the past four years has been the dedication of employees, a number of whom have absorbed larger workloads as the county has had a hiring freeze for three consecutive years which meant that as employees left they have not been replaced, with the exception of those in public safety.

“They have not had cost of living raises, merit raises, pay for performance or any other method of increase, yet they have continued to do their job and they have done it well,” Smith said.

The county’s pay for performance program allows most employees to be eligible for raises of either 2.5 or 5 percent. But the commission only set aside funding equal to 2.5 percent of all county employees’ salary, so it remains uncertain how many employees will be awarded the pay for performance raises.

County Manager Jack Krakeel said the intent of the county’s new pay for performance plan is to “reward employees who go above and beyond the requirements of the job.”

It will be up to department heads and managers to determine who their star performers are and to award them accordingly, Krakeel noted.

Those who are already at the top of their pay grade for a given position will not be eligible for the pay for performance raises, Krakeel added.

Krakeel pointed out that over the past several years county employees have had to pay more and more out of pocket for health insurance and Commissioner Herb Frady noted that employees are also required to pay more into a defined benefits pension plan as well, which has also saved the county money compared to its previous defined contribution only retirement system.

Krakeel noted that the county’s current workforce is about 5 percent smaller than it was three years ago due to the hiring freeze and positions that have remained unfilled due to attrition.

loyalist
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pay raises continued

On a more positive note I would like to thank those citizens who do support or county and its employees we live in one of the best counties in the nation and have the absolute best service and protection which has been proven over and over. The bottom line is you get what you pay for. if you want the county to continue being a pleasant safe place to live then you have to take care of your employees

Insayn
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Insayn
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loyalist
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pay raises

WOW! it never ceases to amaze me how two faced and spoiled some people are. I have served Fayette county for over a decade and have given my blood sweat and tears for this great county. I have sacrificed Christmases, Thanksgivings, and other important events in my childrens lives to be on duty for 24 hours straight serving the citizens. I almost want to laugh every Sept 11th when people bring food and thank you cards to county employees because I know the first mistake someone makes, or the first event that the local papers distort and report come out means that we go from being heros to being hated and looked down upon. To you going thru ruff times may mean you cant get your wife that new mercedes for Christmas and have to settle for the BMW, for us it means working a second or third job just to have enough money to even buy our kids a Christmas present and still be able to put food on the table. Three years without a payraise, 3 years working at minimum staffing, 3 years watching the price of groceries, gas, and every neccesity sky rocket.. and now u want to bitch and moan about a 2.5 percent raise to those who serve and protect you. WOW! thats really motivating for the people who may one day save you or a loved ones life. Heres an idea... MOVE TO CLAYTON COUNTY!

Insayn
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loyalist

If you want to defend public servants I'm 100 % behind you. However, defending your pay raise when few others are getting one was in poor taste. At least in the manner that you did. There are plenty in the same boat who are not getting raises. Who havent in several years as well. Who are worried if they'll have a job over the holidays.

If it were up to me firefighters, cops, teachers and our military would make more than movie stars for what they do and put up with, but that ain't the case.

You're getting your raise. Dont throw it in the face of those you serve.

loyalist
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information

thank you for your support we did not even know about the pay raises until last week. so we were just as suprised as everyone else and in no way am i throwing it in anyones face. But I do however feel the need to defend all employees when people are bashing the fact that we are getting one. if it were you or anyone else getting a raise instead I would be happy for them so dont take my attitude the wrong way, your right every working person deserves an annual raise just to keep up with the cost of living but uprising against an employer giving a raise is not going to help anyone else seeking one it may very well scare other employers from doing because of the scrutiny they will receive

Insayn
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loyalist

Obviously your new to this site. Everyone complaints about everything.

No ones worried about the scrutiny for giving raises, they just can't afford it. Everyone's trying to save a Buck. No one knows what tomorrow holds.

Three years from now when the economy is back on track and everyone is prospering this will be no big deal and no one will care. It wont matter if public workers get a raise or live in poverty. People will be lost in their own happy oblivion. But until then every tax dollar spent, no matter the cause, is a sore spot to most.

loyalist
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you are correct

you are correct...i am new to this site though I have been reading it for several months before posting any comments...especially the jason crenshaw law suite...i finally decided enough is enough and just felt like throwing in my 2 cents like everyone else...i agree 3 years from now none of this will matter, but the ones complaining will be the same ones rolling around in there filthy piles of money so I really dont care what they think because if it was something to benefit them this blog would be empty...also I wonder if its the raise that bothers them or if its just another way to complain about the commissioners they dont like because of a political bitch match they have with each other...either way im just a speck of dust on the lamp shade trying to keep from getting wiped off

CowetaBoardMember
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Illegal

Isn't it illegal for county commissioners to address something not officially on the agenda?

The Coweta County Commissioners are facing misdemeanor charges for violating the Open Meetings Act when they addressed an issue that wasn't on the agenda.

doright
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Thanks Jack Smith

Once again Jack you have proven to be a commissioner that could careless about the citizens of this county. This is not the time for raises and it is never the time for not being transparent.

SO LONG JACK, DON'T LET THE DOOR HIT YOU ON THE WAY OUT!

Can we get a group of commissioners who will do the right thing please!!

highflyer2
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I for one

Would like to thank all the current commissioner's and Jack Krakeel for the job they did during the past four years. They have keep us strong and have avoided any layoffs like many counties have seen.
It's so easy to sit back,while your sipping on your Starbuck Frappuccino and typing away on your laptop,to bash the people that had the guts to TRY and make a difference. I'm sure they are all looking forward to the day when they don't have to listen to all the "winny whining".

ginga1414
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Jack Smith's "Quiet" Government

This is exactly how Jack Smith has conducted the people's business from the day he was sworn into office. He once said that he believes government should be "quiet." Well, I guess so. That is how he and the rest of the fabulous five have gotten away with deceiving their employers.

moelarrycurly
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"No way for the public to know"

Have the PTC residents heard this mantra recently?

Did someone clone some people and not tell us?

Logsdon.....Smith

McMullen....Krakeel

Think about it.

johenry
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Business as usual

Why should we be surprised that bunch hides things from the public?