A majority of Bibb County commissioners indicated Tuesday it wants to make the chairmanship a full-time job with annual pay of about $100,000.
Commissioners voted to advertise the change for three weeks, a legal requirement. Commissioner Elmo Richardson recommended a base pay of $100,000, but the actual pay won’t be voted on until the advertisements have been completed.
The current chairman, Sam Hart, left Tuesday’s meeting for the duration of the discussion of a change in pay. If approved, the pay rate would go into effect Jan. 1, 2013, after the next county election. Hart said Monday he plans to run again, but he would not discuss pay proposals for the job.
Commissioner Lonzy Edwards opposed the move, saying he didn’t want to give the chairman’s position an $80,000 raise while some Bibb County employees are paid so poorly they collect food stamps. Richardson, with Commissioners Joe Allen and Bert Bivins, voted for the proposal in committee, with Edwards opposed and Hart absent.
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Richardson said Hart and his part-time predecessor Charlie Bishop actually worked full-time jobs.
“It is a full-time position, no question about it,” Richardson said.
“Whoever sits in that seat -- man, woman or whoever -- does a full-time job in that seat,” Allen said.
The last full-time commission chairman, Tommy Olmstead, was paid about $100,000.
The county then charged to a part-time commissioner and hired a professional manager, Chief Administrative Officer Steve Layson. Richardson said Olmstead worked with a finance officer, Bill Vaughn, who did much the same work as a chief administrative officer.
The vote Tuesday was to make the chairman’s seat a full-time, well-paid job, leaving Layson’s position untouched. The chairman’s base pay currently is $20,000.
To contact writer Mike Stucka, call 744-4251.