County commission may move to merit-based pay raises

Friday, December 3, 2004

The Cape Girardeau County commissioners and Sheriff John Jordan discussed implementing a lump-sum budgeting system in 2005 at Thursday's regularly scheduled commission meeting.

The change would give officials more control to reward good work by employees. The county currently gives 3.5 percent across-the-board raises.

"It rewards mediocrity," Presiding Commissioner Gerald Jones said.

In a lump-sum system, the commissioners and sheriff agreed a standard raise would be given to all employees -- for example, 2 percent -- and county officials would be given the choice to distribute the extra 1.5 percent to worthy employees.

Though the commissioners and Clerk Rodney Miller were concerned about claims of discrimination if everyone is not given the same raises, they were impressed with Jordan's evaluation policy. Sheriff's department employees are evaluated every six months, Jordan said.

He said the evaluation system would be an adequate way of determining a pay adjustment, and said he would be willing to shoulder the legal responsibilities.

A change in the payroll system would also require some clerical adjustments by the clerk's office.

Commissioner Larry Bock said the roads and bridges department has also expressed interest in lump-sum budgeting.

bmiller@semissourian.com

243-6635

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