Tuesday, for the first time in nearly ten years, the Baldwin County Commission will vote on a request for a pay raise for themselves, and it’s substantial. The request would double their salaries.
FROM $32K TO $65K
Currently Baldwin County’s four commissioners are paid $32k a year. The member serving as chairman receives another $5k on top of that. A request in Tuesday’s commission meeting would double those numbers to $65k a year. Chairman, Skip Gruber said the demands of the office merit full-time pay.
”It’s a full time job. You have to be here to serve the citizens that elected you,” Gruber told us. “30,40, 50, 60 hours a week. It all depends on what’s going on.”
REQUEST GOES TO STATE LEGISLATORS
If the commission approves the request it will then be in the hands of state legislators to introduce and pass a bill in this year’s session to approve the raise.
So how would $65k a year compare with the nearest neighbor, Mobile County? There commissioners have a starting salary of $79k a year.
Reaction from Baldwin County citizens to the possible pay increase is mixed.
Neil Robinson said, “I’m thinking that’s too much. That’s too big of a raise.”
Marty Mcintosh told us, “I feel it would be great. I don’t have any problems with it at all.”
Jennifer Allison stated, “ I wouldn’t support it. There’s no way. I haven’t seen anything that would constitute an increase like that.”
John Armour said, “I think they deserve a raise. I don’t know about double. I think they deserve a raise, they do a lot of work.”
Others wonder about such a large increase when other county workers have just seen one small raise in the last five years.
David Abercrombie told us, “Instead of getting a 100% raise why don’t they lower that, get it approved and then take care of all the girls here who haven’t had a raise in five years. They had one small raise last year, but it was a minute raise.”
If the pay raise makes it through the state legislature it wouldn’t be enacted until this November, after a new commission is elected.
The pay request is near the end of the agenda for Tuesday’s commission meeting. We’ll let you know how it turns out.
You can view the current commisioners open salaries on baldwincounty.gov.