Claremore Daily Progress

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September 13, 2012

Pay increases vs. balanced budget

County employees getting pay hikes despite commissioners statements against them

CLAREMORE — Rogers County commissioners are getting one step closer to a balanced budget despite multiple requests for individual pay raises by department heads.

Approximately 15 employees in multiple departments will receive a raise this year, despite the commissioners’ previous statements that no raises would be available.
Rogers County Court Clerk Candi Czapanksy had the largest number of employees to receive a pay increase with six in her department alone.
Czapanksy complained during a recent commissioners meeting about having to remove the raises from her budget.
Additionally, when department cuts were requested, Czapanksy offered none; when other departments made significant cuts to reduce the shortfall.
Commissioners Mike Helm, Kirt Thacker and Dan DeLozier each offered pay increases to some employees.
Most of the raises were less than $100 per month, with Helm’s employees receiving the most significant increases as their hourly rates were increased.
The commissioners pay salaries from highway funds and not the general budget.
The pay increases sent a mixed message as the commissioners discussed the potential hardship that may face the county in 2013.
There is no carry over this year for the budget and recently, the commissioners have been requesting cuts for each department.
Rogers County started with an approximate $1 million shortfall; and through a period of weeks, the amount has diminished as cuts have been made.
The changes were made through department cuts and employees were told that no raises would be received this year.
This is not the case as multiple departments award selective pay increases.
On Monday, DeLozier raised concerns about the budget changes that would balance the budget this year.
“One thing I want to make clear is that we are taking away the $1.2 million carry over away; and this means we will start the budget for next year short,” DeLozier said. “This means that next year, there will be $1.2 million in cuts if the budget stays the same.”

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