Sheriff gives deputies raises
As Tuesday's fiscal court meeting was wrapping up, Sheriff Folger told magistrates he would like them to pass a motion approving of his recent move to give his deputies 4-percent raises.
"I'd like to have your all's well-wishes on it," he said. "I'd like to have a vote on it."
Adams said Folger is underneath his salary cap by enough money to give out raises if he wants to, but when the fiscal court voted last year to leave his salary cap at $388,000, it didn't do so with the intention of allowing raises.
Adams said Folger never brought up the idea of raises for his deputies while the sheriff's office and fiscal court were holding budget work sessions in December, but Folger said he had "no thought" of a raise at that time and the idea to move forward with a raise only happened recently.
Folger and Adams disputed whether raises were an appropriate move or if the sheriff's salary cap would allow him to hire an additional deputy instead, but no agreement was reached and no action was taken.
Faulkner said he didn't understand why the issue was before the fiscal court in the first place.
"If you want to give your raise, that's up to you. We've already set your salary cap," Faulkner said to Folger. "It's been done."
But Adams and Folger continued to disagree. Figures from the sheriff's office and judge-executive's office don't match up either when it comes to how much is being paid in salaries to the sheriff's employees.
According to numbers provided by Folger, he is paying a total of about $374,650 in salaries before accounting for the deputies' raises, leaving him $13,350 underneath his salary cap.
After the deputies' raises, which will cost about $5,150, Folger said he will have about $8,200 of space under his salary cap.
Hiring a new deputy would cost about $26,000, he added.
According to numbers provided by Adams' office, the sheriff's office paid out a total of $365,423.33 in salaries in 2012, more than $22,000 under the salary cap.
After accounting for staffing changes that could lower the cost of sheriff’s office salaries by around $9,000 in 2013, Adams said he believes there's enough space left under the salary cap for Folger to hire an additional deputy.
Folger said he needs to be allowed to do his job and handle his own employees' salaries without so much interference from the fiscal court.
"It's the people that elected me to run that office," he said.
The deputies raises were not processed by the county in time for their most recent paychecks, but Adams said when the raises are processed they will be made effective retroactively to when Folger first put them in place.