County elected officials may get raises |


County elected officials may get raises |

Several of Newton County’s elected officials are set to get a raise once the state of Georgia officially says the county’s population has exceeded 100,000, but at least one county commissioner doesn’t believe any raise should apply to commissioners.

County commissioners’ base salaries are currently set to be 20 percent of the sheriff’s base salary, but Commissioner John Douglas plans to make a motion at the next board meeting to unhitch those salaries from each other and set a designated salary for commissioners. Such a move would force commissioners to specifically vote themselves raises in the future, as is the case with local city councils.

Under Georgia law, once a county’s population exceeds 100,000 people based on an official government count or estimate, certain elected, constitutional officers get an automatic raise, including the magistrate judge, probate judge, sheriff, superior court clerk and tax commissioner. There are several other population levels at which automatic increases, or decreases should the population fall, are also required.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs can put out an official census estimate by July 1 of any year, but has not yet done so since the 2010 Census, according to Kelly Pridgen, assistant general counsel of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG). A representative with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs could not be reached for comment Friday.

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