Pitt County Employees Don't Want 4% Bonuses

Four high ranking county employees have turned down bonuses given to them after a closed door meeting last month.

Pitt County Manager Scott Elliott opened this morning's county commissioners meeting saying he and the other three employees don't want to accept the 4%.

On May 19th, commissioners approved giving Elliott, chief information officer Mike Taylor, chief financial officer Duane Holder, and county attorney Janis Gallagher the onetime merit pay boost, while the rest of the 900 county employees would receive only a cost of living increase.

Commissioners said they wanted to reward their top employees for their exceptional work, but this morning Elliott said the four felt the bonus had become a distraction for all the good work that is being done.

County commissioners also discussed the salary of Sheriff Neil Elks.

In a closed session, Elks made a pitch for a pay raise. The sheriff says he makes around $85,000 a year, while other top law enforcement officers in the county make well over $100,000 a year.

No decision was apparently made on the sheriff's request.

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You might say budget talks have turned into trash talking for one county commission.

Earlier this week, the Pitt County Board of Commissioners went in to closed session to decide on whether to provide merit pay to just four of their top employees. This, as the rest of the 900 employees gets a cost of living increase.

On May 19th, Pitt County commissioners discussed the budget for the 2014-2015 fiscal year. They also went into closed session and worked on a deal to reward employees for their exceptional work. The only issue for commissioner Glen Webb is that it didn't include all of the 910 county workers.

"I just felt like in times when we're just coming back with our revenue, when the employees who really make the county run, on the day to day level have gone without for so long,” said Webb, “I voted no, because I felt they deserved to get a pay raise as well."

Four workers: the county manager, Scott Elliott, Mike Taylor, the chief information officer, Duane Holder, the chief financial officer and Janis Gallagher, county attorney will get a onetime four percent raise. In total, that amounts to $20 thousand dollars out of the budget.

County manager Elliott responded, “The county has a close to $215 million dollar overall operating budget for the new fiscal year, this is 20 thousand dollars, this is very minor in the total scope of the county's operation budget."

"I don't know if it will affect any other services we deliver, it will keep up from fully funding some things, I think the library is one. The mayor has contacted me about that," said Webb

Elliott says the county is funding the library, not just all of the funds, they wanted for an expansion.

“There isn't a funding issue with the library in my mind, the library is experiencing an increase in funding this year, they're getting less money, and they’re getting more money in the fiscal year," said Elliott

All employees will get a 1.5% pay raise included in the budget for cost of living. But the budget isn't final yet.

A public hearing is scheduled for June 3rd.