Supervisors approve raises
By By Steve Gillespie / staff writer
June 22, 2004
Lauderdale County supervisors voted unanimously and without discussion Monday to give themselves and other county officials large pay raises.
Supervisor Joe Norwood, who represents District 4 and serves as president of the board of supervisors, said there was no discussion because the raises are required by law. They take effect Oct. 1.
State lawmakers earlier this year approved a bill that requires counties to raise the pay for most county officials. The bill, however, gives supervisors the option of whether to accept a 20 percent pay raise.
County supervisors' pay is based on a county's assessed valuation. In Lauderdale County, all five supervisors will see their annual pay jump from $37,343 to $44,700 beginning Oct. 1.
Norwood said he had some discussion among constituents about the pay raise.
Norwood said the raises, the first for supervisors in eight years, are deserved. He said the pay raise for supervisors is the equivalent of a 2.5 percent pay increase per year since the last raise.
District 2 Supervisor Jimmie Smith said the 20 percent increase in supervisors' salaries works out to be less than a cost-of-living raise over the last eight years. Smith has been a supervisor since 1988.
Smith said he and other supervisors across the state believe state legislators also deserve a raise. Lawmakers receive an annual base salary of $10,000 a year plus expenses and other compensation.
Smith said he hasn't heard any negative comments from constituents about the raises.
He said all county offices deserve their raises, adding that most of the positions are countywide as opposed to covering a single district like a supervisor.