Columbia County officials decide against cutting first-time elected officials’ salaries
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ark. (KSLA) - Since the recent election, Columbia County finance members have discussed cutting first-time elected officials’ salaries by $10,000.
On Tuesday, Nov. 22, county residents packed the seats at a committee meeting to share their thoughts.
“Why are you trying to take their money away from them? That is bull,” said Brenda Dickson.
After a brief discussion, the committee decided not to make the salary cut. Those who would have been impacted were Sheriff-Elect Leroy Martin, County Judge-Elect Doug Fields and new Tax Assessor Shannon Hair.
“It was a very unjust thing they were trying to propose, but I’m glad we have come to a solution and hopefully move on,” said Hair.
An attorney with the Arkansas Association of Counties told KSLA the action of cutting salaries of newly elected officials was not legal due to a 1977 county ordinance.
“I’m glad it didn’t go the way they had planned, and I hope to work in the future better to relay to the public what we are doing and how we are doing in a timely manner and ethical ways,” said Fields.
Several citizens say they believe the issue came about after County Judge Deny Foster was defeated by a 2-1 margin in the race for sheriff. KSLA reached out to Foster about the incident; he had no comment.
The budget is scheduled for consideration for approval by the entire quorum court on Monday, Dec. 5.
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