After three years of seeking to have the Commissioners Court raise her salary and getting less than she asked for, the Smith County Treasurer has filed a formal grievance.
Smith County Treasurer Kelli White filed the grievance Aug. 2 seeking to have her pay increased to $93,000. The Commissioners Court has proposed a budget with a $75,366 salary.
In the grievance letter, White referenced how much treasurers are paid in five similarly-sized counties — Webb ($108,839), Jefferson ($102,203), McLennan ($94,581), Brazos ($83,238), and Hays ($79,509) — with an average of $93,674. The numbers were from the Texas Association of Counties, she said.
White described the amount of work that her staff of three — she has an assistant treasurer and a part-time employee — are responsible for as overwhelming at times. She said other counties of Smith County’s size have two to three times as many employees.
She referenced pay raises that other elected officials in Smith County have received. In fiscal year 2019, the Commissioners Court passed a budget with $12,000 raises each for Sheriff Larry Smith and Tax Assessor Gary Barber.
She said fleet manager Brian Reynolds and budget analyst Paul Feltes were hired at $75,000 each when their positions were created last year, “more than my current salary after 14 years as Treasurer as well as that of the County Clerk and District Clerk.”
White received a 5 percent, or about $2,200, pay increase in the fiscal year 2109 budget. County Judge Nathaniel Moran originally proposed another $3,500 increase for fiscal year 2020, but he and the Commissioners Court have increased that to $5,000.
In her original department budget proposed to the Commissioners Court this year White said she asked for a $10,000 raise. She said she calculated that based on matching the proportion that Smith and Barber were given in order to catch up with their statewide counterparts.
White said she increased the ask to $93,000 when she filed the grievance because, based on her conversations with other elected officials, most people don’t get additional raises after going through the grievance process.
The Commissioners Court is scheduled to hold an executive session and appoint a grievance committee at a meeting at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday at the Smith County Courthouse Annex, 200 E. Ferguson St.
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