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Magistrates approved only two raises for county employees at the meeting of the Shelby County Fiscal Court on Tuesday.
On the recommendation of County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger and the Finance Committee, Finance Officer Karen Blake and Treasurer Paula Webb both received a raise.
Blake got an increase of $651 per year, and Webb received an increase of $1,431, putting them at $40,651 and $57,431, respectively.
Webb said this will be the first raise that she and Blake have had in four years.
Rothenburger said the salaries of the treasurer and the finance officer are set by different KRS statutes than other county officials.
Salaries for the Deputy County Judge-Executive will remain the same, at $50,500, as will that of the magistrates, at $24,000, and the coroner, at $20,400.
Webb said that these salaries must be set before the election and can only be changed once every four years, with the exception of cost-of-living raises.
However, Rothenburger said from time to time fiscal court will conduct an industrial standards review, which entails checking salaries of department heads of surrounding counties with similar populations to make sure that local salaries are in line with those. If they are not, the Finance Committee would recommend an appropriate adjustment.
The only elected officials’ salaries the county was in some disagreement about was that of constables.
It had been proposed to cut salaries of the county’s seven constables to $3,000 per year from $5,875.
However, after some discussion, initiated by Magistrate Michael Riggs, it was decided to leave their salaries as they were.
Riggs was adamant that constables should not be paid at all and that the position should be done away with.
“Most counties don’t pay constables a nickel because they don’t do anything,” he said. “They don’t have to report to anyone, and they are just ‘a wild gun’ out there trying to be a police officer who has no training.”
Riggs added that, when the office was established in the early days of the constitution, constables were an important addition to law enforcement, but they no longer are and have not been for a long time.
Further, he said, the county pays its seven constables a combined $41,000 per year for “doing nothing.”
Magistrate Cordy Armstrong agreed with Riggs, but Magistrates Mike Whitehouse, Betty Curtsinger and Tony Carriss the constable at Mount Eden, in his district, does a lot for the community, including working at festivals and helping with auto accidents.
Whitehouse said he feels constables are an asset to the community but said he thought they would do more if local officials would ask them to.
“The big problem is lack of communication,” he said.
“We should lay down some guidelines to let them know what’s expected of them,” she said.
Matt Bullock, chief district engineer for the Transportation Cabinet’s District 5, presented the 2010 State Rural Secondary Highway Program.
This year, three roadways are set to be repaired are KY 1848, which was slated to have been done last year, KY 1005 and KY 395.
Other roads slated for improvements if funds are available, include Bagdad Road and a section of Old Finchville Road, as well as KY 362 from the Oldham County line to Aiken Road and a section of Cooper Lane.
Magistrates also gave authorization for the Shelby County Animal Shelter to enter into an agreement between the county and six local veterinarians to allow the vets to sell pet licenses at their practices. Up until now, the only place where such licenses could be purchased was the animal shelter on Kentucky Street, and Rusty Newton, animal control director, said that allowing the vets to sell them may make it easier for people to buy them.
They cost $10 each, and by allowing the vets to sell them would encourage more people to buy them, he said.
“We currently receive about $20,000 a year from these licenses, and this could bring in about 50 percent more income for the county,” Newton said.
Magistrates also agreed:
§ To contribute $500 to Bagdad Days.
§ To spend $300 on a newcomers guide.
§ To conduct a sidewalk project review.
§ To order a banner with the county logo.