Cobb County leaders eye a 3% pay hike
by Jon Gillooly
January 21, 2013 09:00 AM | 6154 views | 44 44 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — County commission chairman Tim Lee said he will decide soon whether to ask the local legislative delegation for pay raises for elected Cobb County officials, including himself.

Some of the elected official’s top assistants, such as the deputy tax commissioner, would also be eligible for the raise.

Lee, who receives an income of $129,877, said he first wanted to hear from commissioners what they thought about receiving a proposed 3 percent raise.

“I have not talked to anyone individually about what their feelings are for the 3 percent,” Lee said Friday.

Lee said he hasn’t heard any opposition to the raises from local residents.

“My sense is that folks are OK with it, and the ones that have chosen to speak to me have said it’s reasonable,” said Lee, who would see his annual salary go up by nearly $4,000 under the proposal.

In November, the board approved an across-the-board, 3 percent pay hike for all county employees in a 4-1 vote with commissioner Bob Ott opposed. It was the first pay raise for county workers since 2008.

Ott said at the time he favored granting employees a one-time Christmas bonus, but he did not want to be locked into paying for annual raises in a shaky economy.

It’s up to the Georgia General Assembly to approve pay raises for elected county officials.

“As it relates to elected officials, I have to budget for it, and it requires legislative action to put it in place,” Lee said.

The chairman said there are two ways he could handle the matter.

“(The Legislature) could raise the salaries, and I would have to go ahead and budget for it, or I tell them to budget for it and ask them to do it,” he said.

Lee said he intends to send out an email to all elected officials in Cobb alerting them that if they want to receive the 3 percent raise, they should notify him or a member of Cobb’s legislative delegation.

“I will be talking to the Board (of Commissioners) in the next week or two as to what they want to do,” Lee said. “Most of the comments I’ve gotten is that the 3 percent is well deserved for every county employee, including elected officials.”

Lee has apparently not spoken to Ott on the matter.

“I don’t believe we should get a raise in these times,” Ott said. “First off, I voted against the raise to start with. I thought for the employees it should have been a bonus, and I stated back then that the bonus did not need to include us. I don’t think we need a raise, and I do not believe people in District 2 would support a raise.”

State Sen. Judson Hill (R-East Cobb), who was elected chairman of the legislative delegation on Thursday, said he hoped to have a decision on raises by the end of the month.

“I will first ask my legislative colleagues their opinions and advice on such important matters like pay raises for elected county officials, and that has not happened yet,” Hill said. “We will seek written input from those individuals for whom pay raises would be considered. We hope to hear by the end of the month their indication of interest.”

Cobb officials eligible for pay raises include the administrative specialist to the tax commissioner, the five associate state court judges, the chief deputy state court clerk, chief deputy superior court clerk, chief deputy sheriff, chief investigator, chief state court judge, chief superior court judge, probate court clerk, state court clerk, superior court clerk, sheriff, deputy tax commissioner, executive assistant to the sheriff, executive secretary to the tax commissioner, the probate court judge, nine superior court judges, solicitor general and tax commissioner.

What do you think of Chairman Lee's proposal to raise the pay of key county officials?


Comments
(44)
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Welll
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January 23, 2013
No. No raises to Mr. Lee. I propose a major cut in salaries to the board. Budget cuts, closing buildings, cutting back regular schedules does not deserve the board a raise now or ever! In an economy this bad to even consider a raise is so wrong.
Budget Crunch
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January 22, 2013
Has any elected official, Republician or Democrat, ever considered reducing expenses? It sure is funny that the road ways look bad, no one is cutting the grass but there is enough money for raises. If Tim doesn't ask he will not hear any negative opinions.
Cobb Resident
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January 22, 2013
When given the opportunity to change Cobb BOC Chair you did not step up, now I find it interesting that everyone is so shocked and suprised that he would look to get himself a pay raise? My problem with this idea is that they made the decision to run for public office, which one would think that they know the salary scale. As for the public hearing about this idea it was only during last evening news did I become aware of his (Lee) reviewing this with others
Seriously now
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January 22, 2013
Each one of them has over 100K reasons to not receive a pay raise, let alone the jobs that they've performed at poorly.
Jim S
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January 22, 2013
Do we have six Probate Court Judges now?
TeacherInCobb
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January 22, 2013
This makes my stomach hurt. This is absolutely disgusting and wrong. I hope you don't get your raise and lose your job and have to work in a regular blue-collare job. Then and only then, will you know what it feels like being lowly paid.
Robert Lang
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January 22, 2013
I am appalled at the notion that Mr. Lee would entertain the idea of raises at this point in time when we are still trying to determine if budgets can be met by schools and other services, not only in Cobb County, but the State. We just raised the property taxes to support the non-furlough and hiring employee issue, now are asking for raises, all in on the backs of the property owners. I have not had a raise in 5years as a State employee, this is not fair to those of us trying to keep our heads above water, pay our bills, and not rely on any other entitlements that drain those resources. My vote next time on Commissioner will be obvious if Mr. Lee makes this raise happen.
hotinatlanta
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January 22, 2013
Heck NO they don't deserve any kind of pay raise! They make too much money as it is ($130,000/year). Those of us who live & pay taxes in Cobb County are lucky if we could find jobs that pay $30,000/year. The citizens of Cobb County should have the right to vote on this - unlike Fulton County who just write their own pay raises (50%!!!). OUTRAGEOUS!!! That money needs to go towards senior centers no into politician's pockets.
followup please
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January 22, 2013
OK, now the MDJ needs to follow-up with Lee,(and others in line for the 3% addition to their paychecks), present the comments from their constituents and give us NEW statements after they have been made aware.
irked
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January 21, 2013
You're kidding, right?
Contact Please
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January 21, 2013
Please feel free to contact Mr. Lee and let him no that "his constituents do NOT agree with a raise until they restore services such as mowing lawns, restoring library hours, restoring senior services, etc.

tlee@cobbcounty.org

770-528-3305

770-528-2606 fax
West Cobb
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January 23, 2013
Great idea- we all need to let Mr. Lee know our feelings. I will get on this today!Thank you for the contact information!
Call Lee
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January 21, 2013
PLEASE take it upon yourself to flood Tim Lee's office so he will be clear about the fact that the public vote NO to a raise. Medians are not being mowed, you are still closing libraries, you adjusted library hours and cut staff, and you closed senior centers. HMMMMMMM-No Tim, I don't think anyone would agree with this raise. NO NO NO!
Cobb Resident
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January 21, 2013
How about taking those surplus $19 million bucks and give it back to the water department where it came from in the first place!?! Over giving it to yourselves!

Wonder if they have looked if this is sustainable without taking money from the water department to the general fund? Doubt it
Tobogg
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January 21, 2013
Please count me as a constituent who has not had the opportunity to share my thoughts with Chairman Lee my thoughts on an increase in compensation for elected officials. I am not "okay" wit raising elected official's salary.

I'm confident Chairman Lee would find significant opposition to this initiative if he were to conduct a true poll.
hmmmph
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January 21, 2013
It was almost a year ago when this very same paper reported:

"But Chief Deputy Sheriff Lynda Coker said employees in her office are doing well.

“I think our job is to motivate people with more than money,” she said. “Be glad you have a job. We have benefits that are better than a lot of the benefits you get with free enterprise.”

Maybe she should be motivated by more than money and be glad she has a job and be thankful she has the benefits.

NO WAY!!!
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January 21, 2013
Most jobs are pay for performance (except patronage jobs, that is!). What has Tim Lee and his other four henchmen done that deserves a pay increase??? Nothing! Except to give last year's reserves to the employees of Cobb County government as a salary/pay increase (not a bonus, for example). Private sector employees haven't had raises in years, too. So, we are working for the same amount and have to pay for a pay raise for all the indolent (read "lazy", "pathetic" or "sorry") workers who work for Cobb County government???

You don't reward poor performance with a raise, folks. Tim and his four fools don't deserve a raise!!! Just say NO!!!
twoshoes
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September 17, 2013
Get real!
Lance Lamberton
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January 21, 2013
Giving elected officials a pay raise when the Commissoners raised our property taxes is irresponsible, callous and arrogant.
IceDogg
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January 21, 2013
So, I guess we have money to mow the medians this year?
SG68
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January 21, 2013
No problem with a raise for Cobb County "worker bees" but not for the upperechelon supervisory personnel shown in the article.

They are not the ones who need it!!

Certainly not a raise, maybe even a reduction in pay, for Tim Lee.
leChat
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January 22, 2013
Now we see the reason for the employee raise---just cover for this attempt.
West Cobb
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January 21, 2013
You have got to be kidding! Lee has the "sense that folks are ok with the raise because he has not heard any opposition from local residents?" Really? Have local residents heard about this plan? This is the first I have heard of it! In a recession, where many people have not gotten a raise in years and some have taken pay cuts and have accepted that since they are just happy to have a job, this is just not the time. With payroll taxes having just gone up along with health insurance premiums, we all have less expendible income now. Please give me a good reason why the leaders, who all make more than $100,000 a year, should get a raise? Restore services, give raises to the little guy, THEN think about yourselves!!
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