Clay County resident Chad Scott brought forth several reasons Thursday why he thinks county supervisors in Mississippi should not receive a cost of living adjustment, which some county supervisors are requesting from state legislators.
Several Clay County supervisors met last week with the Mississippi Association of Supervisors to discuss asking state lawmakers to grant county supervisors a cost of living adjustment, which supervisors have not received in nearly a decade.
Clay County District 4 Supervisor Shelton Deanes asked Scott why, after ten years without a raise, he feels supervisors are not entitled to a pay increase.
“I think the current amount they’re making is just compensation for the job they do,” Scott said. “If you look at the past ten years the economy hasn’t really improved in Clay County. It’s probably done the opposite. Therefore if the money is not there I just don’t see where you would get the initiative or the money or whatever to get a raise.”
“I disagree,” Deanes said.
Scott asked supervisors to compare their salaries with the salaries of big farmers in Clay County, whom Scott referred to as “the most valuable citizens in Clay County”, some of whom he says don’t make very much but provide invaluable services.
“We can’t make it without them,” Scott said.
He also expressed that the property of county supervisors out West is “tied up in federal land”, which he said doesn’t allow them to tax that property for their local county roll.
“You can imagine the problem that creates, and I doubt, knowing the rural areas that they’re in, they make as much money as you,” he said.
Yet another thing Scott pointed to was his belief that the dollar is inflating rapidly.
“As long as we have people who are getting these automatic cost of living adjustments it will be hard to get the American people to grasp and deal with the issue of inflation,” Scott said. “Why are you all having to get a cost of living adjustment because our dollar is not worth as much as it used to be because we’re printing too many dollars.”
Board President Luke Lummus said about three years ago the board did give county employees a three percent raise across the board and said even if the board had the power to do so he would not vote for a raise for himself without other county employees receiving a raise as well. Still, he said, the state is mindful of how long it’s been since supervisors across the state received a pay adjustment, and MAS will take this issue to state legislators.
“We are in a better position now where it’s going to help us economically – our totally assessed valuation is the only way the Board of Supervisor’s salary is paid, and that is handed down from the state law statute,” Lummus said. “We have done everything in our power here in the county where we can compete economically in a better way now. We have some big things ahead of us, and it’s going to help everybody involved.”