GAINESVILLE – In January of 2023 members of the Hall County Commission will receive larger pay checks for the service they provide to the county. It will mark the first pay increase for the elected officials since 2007.
District Commissioners will receive $45,000 per year and the chairman will be paid $50,000.
That comes as the result of a 4-1 vote Thursday evening by the Hall County Commission with District 3 Commissioner Shelly Echols casting the lone vote in opposition to the move.
The overall annual effect of the increase to county coffers is $65,842 (which includes the 7.65-percent required contribution by an employer to FICA) for a one-time increase of 36-percent.
Chairman Richard Higgins said while this appears to be a large increase year-to-year, considering it’s the first bump in fifteen years it is more in line with cost of living increases and inflation if applied to each of those fifteen years. “If this had been changed over the years we wouldn’t be doing this,” Higgins said.
“And it mirrors Forsyth County and Gwinnett County and we are facing a lot of the same issues that they are,” Higgins added.
Echols attempted to amend the motion to approve the pay increase but her motion died due to a lack of a second to her motion. After the meeting she said the fact that none of the other commissioners offered to second her amendment was surprising. “I thought I would be offered the courtesy to at least have the discussion and then they could vote against that, but obviously it wasn’t.”
Echols said she planned to propose a lower increase in her amendment. “I wanted to set the District Commissioners’ salary at $32,000 and the Chairman at $45,000…but I didn’t receive a second.”
Also in opposition to the increase was Brian Kelley of Clermont. Kelley spoke during public comment and said, “You’re looking at about a 35-percent increase on your salary plus benefits. If I did that at my company, my company would not exist.”
Christine Osasu of Gainesville and Dana Matheson of Murrayville also spoke in opposition to the increase.
To view details of the pay change click here.
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