According to Sheriff Bill Martin, 31 employees at the Bourbon County Jail have resigned since April 2013.
"During the exit interview with the exit interviews with the correctional officers and jail administrator, one of the biggest concerns, reasons why they were leaving, was the pay scale."
Martin set out to learn how the pay in his department compares to others.
He hired outside firm, austin peters group, to conduct a survey of the wage salaries of the employees in 19 area kansas counties and 10 cities. According to the data, bourbon county falls below the average.
"We talk about leading the market, meeting the market, lagging the market," said Becky Crowder, President of Austin Peters. "They are greatly lagging the hourly rate in the market. By a significant amount."
For example, the data shows the Bourbon County attorney pay to be about 80 percent less than the market average. The sheriff about 45 percent less.
"I think what really describes it is embarrassing," said Sheriff Bill Martin.
Representatives from Austin Peters Group presented the data at the commissioners meeting on Tuesday. Some officials requested more information, including how benefit packages affect the data.
"I think it's really important that it's a balancing act," said Becky Dunn, Bourbon County treasurer. "We have to look at not only well compensated valuable employees with a good benefit package that is relative to the market place, but at the same time we have to balance the tax revenue generated by bourbon co. And how much we can afford."
"Martin says it was his intention to inform commissioners about county salaries and it was also his intention to inform other communities."
"I did not do this on part of the sheriff's department or the jail staff or my jail administration side. I did it as an encompassing all the departments."
The Austin Peters Group will present commissioners with wage salary data that includes benefits within the next week.