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Raise in salary for Animal Control director requested
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A push is being made to increase the salary of the director over Warren County Animal Control and Adoption Center by $5,000 a year.
Members of the county Health and Welfare Committee voted Tuesday night to increase the salary by from $23,542 to $28,542. The item passed 4-1.
Commissioners Teddy Boyd, Linda Jones, Tommy Savage and Blaine Wilcher voted in favor of the increase. Commissioner Michael Martin voted against it.
Wilcher presented the increase.
“I just tried to get her up there to where she’s close to other directors in her position,” he said. “She’s going to have more responsibility. She trying for grants and trying to get those approved. Plus our adoption rate, which is what we brag about quite a bit, takes more time and it’s a lot of responsibility. She’s there sometimes, obviously after hours, loading up the rescue vans. Sometimes, she does get called out after hours.”
Animal Control director salary has been debated since last year when current director Kim Pettrey requested an increase from $10.75 to $12 an hour, a request that was approved by Health and Welfare Committee members but rejected by Budget and Finance Committee members after Martin encouraged them not to do it because it would “open a can of worms” and lead to other employees requesting individual raises.
Historically, the county gives raises across the board. However, exceptions have been made. Judicial Commissioners received a $2 salary increase last year in an attempt to stem the high turnover rate. A second raise is currently being considered for one judicial commissioner because he has accepted the job as supervisor to oversee the other commissioners and that increased his responsibility.
Wilcher also presented two other proposed budgets for committee consideration. One budget gave the director a $3,458 salary increase, brought one of the part-time personnel to full time and increased the budget by $12,000, while the other budget gave the director a $7,658 salary increase, left the part-time personnel unchanged and increased the budget by $5,858.
The department has one full-time director and two-part time personnel. Martin objected to changing that scenario, adding that Warren County Executive Herschel Wells objects too. 
The measure will be sent to Finance director Linda Hillis for her determination on if money can be moved around in the current budget and placed in salary. If she approves, it will be sent to Budget and Finance Committee for its consideration.
Wilcher requested he be notified when the committee meeting would take place so he could be in attendance to speak in favor of the increase due to Martin’s stance against.
“She needs someone to speak out in favor of this,” said Wilcher. “I encourage everyone to be there to explain why this raise should remain in her budget.”
The day and time of that meeting has yet to be set.