Boyle County Fiscal Court hasn’t granted funding for the additional patrol deputies Sheriff Marty Elliott has been hoping for, but it did give the sheriff some room to add court security staff Tuesday by increasing the department’s salary cap.
The Fiscal Court voted unanimously to raise the salary cap by $45,000 to $567,000. The cap is the maximum amount a constitutional officer can spend on full- and part-time wages, as well as overtime and fringe benefits.
The positions of fee manager and tax manager, which had been part of the county’s general fund budget, were moved into the sheriff’s budget this year and also count against the salary cap.
“This gets us where we need to be with (the salary cap), and it allows Sheriff Elliott some more flexibility,” McKinney said. “I think it’s a good indication the sheriff and the Fiscal Court are working together.”
Elliott was accompanying an inmate for a medical visit and was not at Tuesday’s meeting.
During a Fiscal Court meeting earlier this month, Elliott clarified statements he made in July about the department’s patrol strength being at the same level as it was in 1985. Although there are 19 non-office positions in the department, he pointed out that most of those are not full-time or certified, leaving only five deputies to work patrol.
McKinney has said the sheriff’s budget for the department has actually grown faster than the county’s general fund budget and urged more effective management of the roughly $1 million available for operations in the department. He said there are still no plans to increase the sheriff’s budget.
The Fiscal Court also discussed the status of part-time county employees across several departments who are getting close to averaging more than 100 hours of work per month. Once a part-time employee reaches that threshold, the county would have to pay into the state retirement system.
If a part-time employee averages more than 100 hours in a fiscal year or calendar year, or they have two part-time positions, even if one of the jobs is not with the county, the county is responsible for paying about 19 percent of the total wages into the system.
The county would have to pay based on the entire amount of hours, not just the amount of hours above 100 hours the employee works.
McKinney said there is still plenty of time in the fiscal year for department heads to make sure part-time workers are not accumulating too many hours.