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Commissioners want a raise
Board talks pay hikes, sets qualifying fees for 2012 elections
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Bryan County Board of Commissioners talked money at the Jan. 10 regular meeting in Pembroke as they discussed raising the commissioners’ pay and approved a resolution for 2012 county qualifying fees.

While there was no vote on the matter, commissioners discussed giving themselves a raise — more than quadrupling the pay for commissioners and more than doubling the pay for the chairman.

According to commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed, Bryan County commissioners have not had a base pay increase in more than 20 years.

“There has not been a general increase in the minimum base pay for commissioners since 1989,” he said.

Currently, each commissioner makes around $1,700 a year, and the chairman makes around $3,800 a year, according to County Clerk Donna Waters. Burnsed said the commissioners are looking to raise the commissioner’s yearly salary to $7,500, and the chairman’s to $8,500.

Burnsed said District 4 Commissioner Carter Infinger and County Administrator Phil Jones looked at counties with populations similar to Bryan County to find an average on which to base the raises.

“We looked at 27 counties — that’s how many are in our (population) range,” Infinger said. “The (commissioner) salaries ranged from $20,788 per year down to a low of $1,700 a year, which was ours.”

Commissioners in Oconee County make $20,788 annually with a county population of around 32,000, Infinger said. Bryan County’s population stands around 30,200 based on the 2010 U.S. Census.

Infinger said the pay increase for commissioners would bring the county “in line” with others and that the board’s figure for a commissioner raise was about $400-$500 less than an average of those 27 counties.

Read more in the Jan. 18 edition of the News.

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