Warren County Judicial Commissioner Jim Hartman could receive the salary increase he has requested.
The county Budget and Finance Committee has left a $4 salary increase for Hartman within the Judicial Commissioners proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, while removing a $2 an hour increase for the remaining six commissioners.
Consideration for Hartman’s raise began when he submitted a resignation letter to the county and cited salary as one of the causes. He requested to step down as a full-time supervisor but remain with the department as an on-call judicial commissioner.
At that time, Policy and Personnel Committee members asked Hartman to stay on as supervisor while they attempted to increase his salary.
During the next Policy and Personnel Committee meeting, he requested $4 more an hour, which would bring his salary up to $16.72. He presented information from other communities that suggested the increase would bring his salary more in line with what other judicial commissioner supervisors make.
That committee approved the measure and sent it to the Budget and Finance Committee.
Hartman listed starting rates of pay for judicial commissioners and their supervisor in other counties:
Blount County: $13.82 an hour, supervisor $16.82; Coffee County: $12.29 an hour, supervisor $15.12; Cumberland County: $12.88 an hour, supervisor $15.59; Rutherford County: $14.95 an hour; Wayne County: $18.90 an hour; White County: $13.70 an hour.
Hartman has been a judicial commissioner for six years. Two years ago, the county gave all judicial commissioners a $2 an hour raise to stem their turnover rate, which worked. Hartman was given an additional $2 last year for his added responsibilities, bringing his salary from $8.72 an hour to $12.72 an hour.
Committee members approved leaving Hartman’s raise intact. However, the measure did not pass unanimously.
Commissioner Michael Martin voted against it and voiced dissention for such a large increase for one employee.
“I can’t give him that raise because nobody else is getting that big of a raise,” said Martin. “I turned Animal Control down for 83 cents the other day.”
The county’s departmental budgets are still in the review process. No decisions are final until the full Warren County Commission votes to approve it.