Pulaski County bonuses | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pulaski County bonuses

Posted By on Sat, Oct 10, 2009 at 6:20 AM

I ranted Thursday about the Pulaski County government plan -- a seeming done deal -- to grant yet another bonus this year for a total of 12 percent in pay increases in 2008-09 with plans for another pay raise of up to 5 percent in January, for a potential total of  17 percent in less than 2 years. And this is on top of the considerable tax-free benefit of free health insurance for all county elected officials and employees. (Your insurance is free, isn't it? Oh? You don't have insurance? So sorry.)

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette followed up with a front-page account today. County Judge Buddy Villines explains that savings from vacant positions -- and thus the assumed hard work by all remaining employees -- justifies these extraordinary pay raises in a time of near-record unemployment and pay cuts in virtually every other area of the economy.

About that: 1) There have been no vacancies on the Quorum Court, where most justices of the peace will vote pay raises for themselves and the other county officials, all of whom are free to choose to run for these offices or not. 2) Does it follow that an open job is a needed job? 3) Don't you think pay bonuses should fall where employees shouldered the biggest burdens, rather than across the board? Think about the jail and sheriff's office, which account for half the county's open slots. 4) If the county has a bunch of free money, don't you think we should use it to hire more jailers before we give the JPs 20 percent in pay raises? Or hire somebody to run a county zoning office to protect the Lake Maumelle watershed?

The county apparently has lost a jail nurse to higher pay. Justification enough, apparently, to give JPs and county elected officials a pay raise. Why not just raise jail nurses' pay and save about $1.4 million?

CORRECTION NOTE: In the list of pay raises and bonuses sought by county officials over recent months, one bonus -- for 3 percent -- was voted down by the Quorum Court and my cumulative amount has been corrected to reflect that.

From the ArkTimes store


Comments (10)

Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-10 of 10

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Charter school accountability: Non-existent in Arkansas

    A state audit finds charter school spending violated state law, but the state Education Department says it has no responsibility for ensuring proper management of charter schools. Say what?
    • Mar 5, 2016
  • Payday lenders on the march at legislature

    Payday lenders are working hard to get legislative cover for the reintroduction of their usurious loan business to Arkansas. Some are fighting back.
    • Mar 10, 2017
  • Policy group urges opposition to new charter seats in Little Rock

    The Arkansas Public Policy Panel is urging supporters of the Little Rock School District to tell state Board of Education members they oppose applications to be heard this week to dramatically expand the number of charter school seats in the Little Rock School District.
    • Mar 9, 2016

Most Shared

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments



© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation