Clay County Commission adopted several resolutions to better employee pay Monday night.
The resolutions include an increase in new employees’ starting salaries, a two percent increase for current employees, and a two-cent annual longevity raise. District 1 Commissioner Bryan Coons said that it’s important for county employees to have living wages.
“The current situation with being able to hire people and not being able to find employees, I don’t think we could find anybody for the starting rates we had, not quickly,” Coons said.
Coons said that any employee hired after the county’s approval of the new salary will have a minimum starting salary of $9 an hour. He said the last time they visited employee pay was in 2011.
Coons said that through these increases, they also hope to increase county employee retention rate. He said that in offering better salaries, there is less potential for valued employees to leave for counties that can offer better wages.
“We did this year, because we had to,” Coons said. “Our sheriff, Brandon Boone, he is four deputies short. He’s four corrections officers short. He can’t get people to do it that want to do it for the amount of money we’re paying. I think that’s the case in most factories, most grocery stores, most restaurants, they can’t find help. But when you don’t pay people at least a living wage, there’s no way you can get people. Especially people that if there’s a problem have to come to your house to protect you with a gun. I mean you don’t want unqualified people and we were having a problem getting that type of employee.”
Coons said that the new starting salary would go into effect immediately, the longevity pay would require a budget amendment in January, and the two percent annual raise would go into effect July 2022.
In other business, Clay County approved its new redistricting plan. Mayor Dale Reagan said that very few changes were made, with only a portion of District 1 needing changes. He said the next step is to send the plan to CTAS to get approval from the comptroller’s office. Coons said that this change to even out the population, as well as move some residents from District 5 to District 1 to facilitate voting.
Commissioners also approved the reappointment of EMA Director Kyle Haney and Complex Park Director Tanner Rich.