Commission split on pay hikes

Two Upshur County employees have received significant pay increases, despite one county commissioner’s contention that they were being treated better than other hardworking employees in the courthouse who will receive minimal raises this year.

Maintenance department employee Michael Wayne Campbell will see his hourly pay rate jump from $11.58 to $14.46 by September. That increase will come in smaller increments in March, June and September. Assistant county administrator Megan Pomeroy will see her salary jump from $32,500 to $38,200 by September in the same fashion.

Commissioners JC Raffety and Donnie Tenney voted in favor of the increases during the most recent meeting, saying Campbell’s certification as an electrician and as a heating/ventilation/air conditioning technician justified his increase. They also noted Pomeroy already saved the county about $5,000 in regional jail costs, and they believe her work in that area will probably cover the cost of her employment.

Commissioner Buddy Brady, however, said he could not support such increases, especially when other employees will only see a 2 percent or $600 raise this year. He said his vote against the issue was not meant to demean the work of those two county employees.

“We’ve got almost 100 employees,” Brady said. “You have people making only $8 an hour. I have a problem bumping (Campbell and Pomeroy) up when the other people are only getting 600 bucks. I think Mike should be bumped up, and we’re lucky to have Megan. But (she) was hired seven months ago, and she’s going from $32,000 to $35,000 (in March). I can’t justify that to the other employees in this county.”

The commissioners are looking to give county employees a 2 percent raise or a minimum of $600 when they vote this week on the 2013/2014 fiscal year budget.

In other personnel matters, the commissioners approved hiring Richard Fredrick Dille as a seasonal groundskeeper starting March 31. He will make $8 per hour. The commissioners also approved hiring Debra Kay Carlyle as an administrative assistant in the West Virginia University Extension Office. She also will be paid $8 per hour, and her job will start April 8.