BOWIE COUNTY, TX (KSLA) - A major salary cut for some Bowie County workers was approved Monday by the county commissioners, despite the opposition of department heads who are also elected by the public.
Commissioners voted to cut salaries of county employees, except elected officials, by 15 percent for the next two months.
"It doesn't matter whose fault it is. Y'all got a job to do," said Bowie County clerk Tina Petty to commissioners at Monday's meeting. "Work together and get it corrected."
"It is not fair for the employees. They don't make a lot of money," she added.
Department heads say they realize something needs to be done, but they disagree with the way commissioners are handling the financial problem the county is experiencing. "This action is going to absolutely devastate the lives of a lot of employees, them and their family," said Harlen Jones with the Juvenile Probation department.
"If we start cutting the salaries, who is going to want to come to work for us? People who nobody else would want to hire," Bowie County Sheriff James Prince said.
The commissioners voted 4-1 to make the cuts for August and September. The issue will be addressed again at a later date to see if the decision will continue for next fiscal year, which begins in October. The issue of salaries for elected officials will also be addressed at a later date.
"We will do what we have to do to get this county back in the black again, whether it is popular or not," said Mike Carter, Bowie County commissioner.