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Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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County Commission News

Columbia County Sheriff Patrol Deputies:
Paid less for doing more

COLUMBIA COUNTY, FL – Columbia County's patrol deputies put their lives on the line every time they make a traffic stop or respond to a call. They are the police in green that the public knows up close and personal. Every day many of them make decisions that affect the lives and well-being of the public - decisions that are not reflected in their pay scale.

A patrol deputy in Columbia County, with less than 5 years on the job, makes on the average of $15.62 an hour. At last Thursday's County Commission meeting, the Commissioners, without one word of discussion, approved paying a part time code enforcement officer $25 an hour.

As usual, this important item was buried in a consent agenda which ran over 350 pages. The County's new Public Safety Division Chief, David Kraus, recommended the $25 an hour pay for the part time code enforcer.

The job was not advertised, nor was it posted anywhere in the County.

During the County Commission meeting, County Manager Dale Williams explained that according to the HR Policy and Procedures Manual, part-time positions did not need to be advertised.

An examination of HR policy shows that this is not correct.

Safety Division Chief Kraus' memorandum to the Board explained that the Code Enforcement Officer positions had been vacant since December 2011.

The memorandum did not explain and neither did the County Commission inquire about the previous full time code enforcement salaries: one paid $11.59hr and the other $12.98hr.

Additionally, somewhere between 2008 and August 5, 2010, Anthony Parnell's code enforcement salary went from $24,107 to $29,036 ($13.95hr). This was a 20% raise.

For many of the men and women in green it is still 2006

In 2006, a road deputy with 3 years experience earned $31,000 base pay. In 2011, a road deputy with 3 years experience earned $31,000. This is $14.90 an hour. (+ or - 5%)

Epilogue

Columbia County's good ole boys never disappoint. The rational basis for paying a part time, unadvertised code enforcer 40% more than a full time road deputy with three years experience is at the barest minimum rude and disrespectful.

The $25hr part time job equates to a full time position of $52,000 a year.

Columbia County, FL – the legend continues.

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