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Cherokee Co officials debate who has the right to issue raises - KOAM TV 7

Cherokee County officials debate who has the right to issue pay raises

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Issues over who has the right to issue employee pay raises was one of the topics discussed between county commissioners in Cherokee County, Kansas this week.

Discussions between the Cherokee County treasurer and the county commissioners over why county employees deserve pay raises have been causing some disagreements.

At Tuesday's commissioners meeting Cherokee County Treasurer Juanita Hodgson proposed pay raises for three of her employees in the treasurer's office due to additional labor being needed in the department.

"I still feel she deserved another raise because it made those six month employees closer to her pay that have been here for six years," says Hodgson.

"I didn't see an appropriate reason to give someone another raise since they've just gotten a raise of $1 not too long ago - to give them another 50 cent raise," says Commissioner Richard Hilderbrand.

"The motor vehicle system with the state of Kansas changed statewide, and threw a lot more duties on the county treasurers office in the motor vehicle department," says Hodgson.

"I tried to explain, from my point of view, that's not a job duty change - the method of your job changes but not your job duty changes," says Hilderbrand.

Hodgson believes that employees should be paid by longevity, or how long they've worked for the county.

Hilderbrand says the treasurer's office has regularly come in under budget under Hodgson's direction, but funds for pay raises are just not there at this time.

"I proposed for three that didn't get the 50 cent raises due to their longevity, their years of experience, and their job duties".

During the meeting Hilderbrand asked Hodgson to rescind the raises, something she agreed to do after further negotiations.

"We have a lot of good workers, you know, the workers do deserve as much as we can afford to give them but we have to balance that," says Hilderbrand.

Cherokee County employs nearly 160 people.  Nine of them work within the treasurers office.

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