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franklin county times

What budget crunch?

By Staff
June 23, 2004
Reports of a budget crunch in state and local government must be greatly exaggerated. That's one of the conclusions to be drawn from Monday's vote by Lauderdale County supervisors to raise their pay by 19.7 percent. Come Oct. 1, each supervisor will be paid $44,700 an increase from their current salary of $37,343.
While the Legislature mandated pay raises for other county officials, supervisors in each of Mississippi's 82 counties were required to vote on theirs. It didn't take our Lauderdale County board long to approve the pay hikes for themselves.
It could be argued that supervisors have a demanding job running county government that grows ever more complex. It could be argued they haven't had a pay raise in eight years. It could also be argued that a supervisor holds a part-time job and that each of the current office-holders ran for the job knowing what it paid.
The message sent by the pay raises for all county officials is that there is no budget crisis, that, somehow, the county is flush with cash. At the very least, supervisors have now lost the high ground in arguments over money; apparently, there is plenty for everybody.