Commissioners Debate Extra Pay For Chairman and Pro tem–Conflicting Resolutions Passed Over the Years

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF)- Members of the Hamilton county commission agree that the chairman and vice-chairman should be paid more than the others.

But they are faced with determining which pay standard to use–it turns out there are two, and one pays a lot better than the other.

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County attorney Reuben Taylor says he just wants to clear up the confusion. Which pay scale for chairman and vice chairman should they use?

The first scale, set 26-years ago provides for the chairman to be paid 40-percent more than the others, and the chairman pro term 30-percent more.

RHEUBIN TAYLOR, COUNTY ATTORNEY  “..would clarify that the 1990 resolution is the one to be followed from this time forward.

That got an immediate reaction from some commissioners, especially Joe Graham.

COMMISSIONER JOE GRAHAM, DISTRICT 6  “Even though there’s a law on the books ..or a resolution that we use as a law on the books making it 30 or 40…doesn’t make it right…we haven ‘t followed that law in many, many, many years.”

The commission chairman is now paid 5000-dollars more than the others and the pro tem , 2500 more. That’s a big difference, and if the original pay scale is instituted, the county would have to come up with back pay for all the people who have served in those jobs since in the last 6 years.

COMMISSIONER TIM BOYD, DISTRICT 8  “My position is we need to do..we need to correct the resolution to reflect current policy and the current policy has been in effect 17 years…I’m in total agreement with that.”

COMMISSIONER GREG BECK, DISTRICT 5  “…the resolution, we did not vote on the resolution ,its there. And if we want to start doing that we can go back and do a lot of resolutions like that. The resolution is there. lets’ proceed with as is.”

COMMISSIONER JIM FIELDS, DISTRICT 2  “What we’re trying to do is to get it on the record so that we can get it fixed so that our financial folks know they need to be paying and what they don;’t need to be paying ..and you really don’t care one way or the other …you just want to get it resolved. Yes sir.”

The commission will vote on that resolution next week.