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Commissioners lose committee meeting pay

Being a Warren County commissioner is worth a little less with the passing of the budget Monday night for fiscal year 2019-20. 

Commissioners will not be paid for their attendance at committee meetings in the upcoming fiscal year. Removed was the $25 meeting payment. 

“I think we had to make a lot of tough decisions,” said Commissioner Richard Grissom. “I haven’t heard any commissioners concerned about it and Budget and Finance supported it. So, I am personally fine with it, but I cannot speak for any other commissioner.”

Eliminating committee pay, plus benefits, is an estimated annual savings to the county of $32,177. Remaining in the budget was a $260 monthly stipend given to commissioners, a total of $74,880 annually for 24 commissioners.

Grissom, chair of the county’s Budget and Finance Committee, made the recommendation back in June to remove that portion of their salary as a cost-saving measure.

“We are making cuts to the budget and I think we should be part of that,” Grissom said at the time. “We are asking everybody else to cut, so we should too.” 

The cuts mentioned by Grissom were to the overall departmental budgets requested for the upcoming year and did not pertain to salaries. Every county employee received a salary increase. Employees who did not receive an individual salary adjustment were given 50 cents per hour more. 

If commissioners elect to do so, they can reinstate committee pay.