• Bill Raines

County Council votes 3 percent raises for County Employees and 5 Percent Increase for Sheriff's Dept

LAWRENCE COUNTY - OCTOBER 4, 2022 - The Lawrence County Council voted in a 4-2 vote to give Lawrence County employees and elected leaders a three percent raise and Lawrence County Sheriff Department deputies, jailers, and dispatchers a five percent raise.

Rick Butterfield and Mike Wright casting the "No" votes stating that all county employees should be given a five percent pay increase. Scott Smith president of the council did not vote on the issue; being council president.

Lawrence County Council members vote 4-2 on giving a three percent raise to county employees

Today's vote would make a third time to visit the issue on raises, and a second vote on the matter.

This original vote on the raises for employees died due to a tie vote, with Lawrence County Council woman Janie " Craig" Chenault attending a conference in California. The Lawrence County Council did not allow Chenault to attend that meeting by Zoom.

Mike Branham makes pitch for five percent pay increase for deputies, jailers, and dispatchers

Sheriff Mike Branham met behind closed doors during a salary committee meeting with Janie ' Craig" Chenault, Jaff Lytton, and President Scott Smith to make a pitch for a five percent increase for his employees. (Related story being written)

Several attended today's meeting on raises for county employees

The other department heads did not approach the salary committee on their recommendations. A Judicial Mandate was referred to about pay increases by Janie "Craig" Chenault however, details of the Judicial mandate have not been made public at this time.

County council members would not comment on the mandate by any communications about the Judicial mandate mentioned by council woman Chenault.

Branham maintains his department is facing high turnover due to pay. The turnover at the Sheriff's Department cost the county $410,543 in 12 months.

However, the Lawrence County Highway Department and Lawrence County Solid Waste District is facing the same high level of turnover of employees due to better paying jobs in the private sector.

Council members comments following today's vote in video above

The Lawrence County Solid Waste District sets its own pay scale by a separate board to which the Lawrence County Council has no control by Indiana State statue.

Lawrence County Council woman Julie Blackwell asks for re-vote again

Julie Chase wanted the county council to revote again, after today's vote was made.

Partial video of today's meeting has been posted on today's meeting.

In another story Lawrence County Zephyr will look at Sheriff's Branham's conversation on high turnover of his department.

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