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Commissioners reinstate their committee pay

Committee pay for Warren County commissioners has been reinstated and increased. 

Reinstatement came Monday night when the Warren County Commission considered two measures, a failed resolution to remove committee pay, followed by a successful resolution to set their committee pay at $30.

The unsuccessful resolution to remove committee pay failed in a tie vote, 10-10.

In favor of removing committee pay were Commissioners Michael Bell, Carl D. Bouldin, Carl E. Bouldin, Deborah Evans, Richard Grissom, Daniel Owens, Gary Prater, Christy Ross, Tyrone Sparkman, and Cole Taylor. 

Against removing committee pay were Commissioners Carlene Brown, David Dunlap, Randy England, Steve Glenn, Steven Helton, Robert Hennessee, Lori Judkins, Gary Martin, and Tommy Savage.

Four commissioners abstained.

Abstention votes were given by Commissioners Scott Rubley, Joseph Stotts, Phillip Stout, and Blaine Wilcher. 

Stotts explained his nonparticipation, “I have ethical issues with voting on my own pay.” 

A tie means the measure to remove committee pay failed to pass and pay was reinstated. 

County Executive Jimmy Haley, as chairman of the County Commission, has the authority to break a tie vote. However, he declined to do so.

“I’m not going to make that decision,” Haley said. “This should be a commissioner decision, not mine. This has to do with your pay and not mine. This has to be a decision within your commission. I will not break the tie.” 

The measure to set the pay at $30 was an increase of $5. 

County attorney Robert Bratcher said that increase is required by current TCA code, which sets the minimum pay at $30 based on Warren County’s population. 

“If you don’t pass this vote, you are not in compliance,” he said. “The only way to pay less than that is to set a one-payment salary for all commissioners for all their responsibilities. I would advise this be passed so you can meet that minimum required by law.” 

A vote to set committee pay at $30 passed 14-1. 

In favor of setting committee pay at $30 were Commissioners Carl E. Bouldin, Brown, Dunlap, England, Evans, Glenn, Helton, Hennessee, Judkins, Lee, Martin, Ross, Savage, and Stout. 

Against it was Commissioner Sparkman. 

Abstention votes were cast by nine commissioners: Bell, Carl D. Bouldin, Grissom, Owens, Prater, Rubley, Stotts, Taylor, and Wilcher. 

A budget transfer may be required due to funding for committee pay being removed when the 2019-20 fiscal year budget was adopted last month.