Hankinson salary increase denied

Mary E. Hinds-News Herald

The Loudon County Board of Education rejected the notion of raising the salary of Career and Technical Education Director Tom Hankinson. 

The county school board's budget committee recommended the school up Hankinson's salary from $48,962 to $57,702. 

Bill Marcus, who chairs the board's budget committee, said the idea to up the salary of Hankinson was about promises made when he was hired to increase his salary which never did come to pass. 

Marcus said the salary for any position is set and the employee agrees when they sign the contract. He said he also feared increasing a salary in the middle of the budget year would be opening the flood gates for requests for salary increases from other school system employees. "I don't think that would be good for us," Marcus said. 

Board member Leroy Tate said he agreed now is not the time to be considering salary increases when county teachers were denied step raises in the current budget.

Board member Gary Ubben said that Hankinson is an excellent administrator, but now is not the right time for a salary increase. 

Board member Van Shaver, who is also on the budget committee, said Hankinson and one other person had come to the committee asking for raises. He noted that Hankinson's salary is well below other directors in the system and that funds for a raise are in the vocational budget. He estimated it would require $2,913 to fund the salary increase for the rest of the school year. "This one particular salary is so far out of sync it deserves consideration," Shaver said. 

Board member Steve Harrelson said while there is little doubt Hankinson deserves a salary increase because he is paid well below other system supervisors and because he as assumed more responsibilities, he would "be more comfortable doing this during the budget process."

Board member Bobby Johnson, Jr. also noted Hankinson's increased workload. "I'm for him having it," Johnson said of the proposed salary increase. 

Director of Loudon County Schools Wayne Honeycutt said while there is some money in the budget for the raise, any salary increase would have to be approved by the county commission. "If the county commission rejects it we're back where we were," Honeycutt said. 

The board voted to deny the salary increase.