Weatherford Democrat

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March 13, 2013

County OKs salary increase, Christmas decor fundraising

By JUDY SHERIDAN

In their only split vote Monday, Parker County commissioners voted 4-1 to increase the salary of a full-time 911 addressing deputy, using funds from the North Central Texas Council of Governments.

Judge Mark Riley opposed the increase — from a $27,000 salary to a Grade 7 Step 5 salary of $34,953 — after asking if the employee was a department head or clerk.

“I’m not sure that’s the appropriate salary for that position,” he said, “and it’s the wrong time of year to be doing that kind of readjustment and reclassification.”

Commissioner George Conley, who put the issue on the agenda, said the employee was significantly underpaid. He said he tried to get her salary adjusted — unsuccessfully — during budget time.

Permitting and 911 Addressing Department Director Kirk Fuqua said the North Central Texas of Governments is reimbursing 19 counties for their efforts in developing a pictograph that tracks individual tracts of land.

As a result, he said, more than $23,000 has been transferred to the county’s general fund.

Fuqua said he surveyed surrounding counties — including Wise, Hood, Johnson and Palo Pinto — and found that salaries for 911 coordinators with the same responsibilities range from $32,000 to $50,000.

The job entails assigning addresses to new county residents as well as working with NCTCOG on mapping unincorporated areas.

In other action commissioners:

• Accepted the offer of a recently appointed citizens’ courthouse enhancement committee to raise funds for Christmas decorations both inside and outside the historic courthouse. According to committee chairperson Donna Tillman, the decorations might include a big star on the top of the bell tower — as of old — a large artificial tree on the lawn, a tree inside and lighting for sidewalks, bushes and windows. Tillman said the committee wants to have a tree-lighting ceremony, perhaps at Thanksgiving, and plans to begin fundraising by starting a courthouse facebook page and opening an account at Plains Capital Bank.

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