No Pay Cut

Things got a little testy at the end of a very long and mostly uneventful County Commission meeting Monday. Loudon County resident, Wayne Schnell, asked at the end of the meeting what happened to the discussion about cutting commissioner's pay in half.

You may recall, back in June when commissioners had the big budget meeting, the most discussed item in the sixty million dollar budget was commissioner's pay. The budget committee included in the proposed budget to cut commissioner's pay by half. Loudon County commissioners are paid approximately $8,000.00 per year. It was pointed out back in June and again Monday that Loudon County commissioner's pay is one of the highest in the state, in the top five or six of all ninety-five counties.

Back in the June meeting, Commissioner Bob Franke made a motion to amend the proposed budget to to reinstate commissioner's pay to the full $8,000.00 feeling that the full commission should have an opportunity to discuss the matter further. Franke's motion included taking up the issue at the next workshop meeting. Franke's amendment passed.

Monday night's commission meeting was the first meeting since the budget, with Franke's amendment, was passed in June. However, there was no mention of any discussion of commissioner's pay on the agenda. The lack of the matter being on the agenda is what prompted Mr. Schnell's question.

County mayor, Estelle Herron, in answering Mr. Schnell's question about the missing agenda item, explained that no one had asked her to add the discussion of commissioner's pay to the agenda. Schnell pressed by reminding her the commission had voted to discuss the issue at their next meeting and wanted to know when commission was going to discuss the pay issue. No clear answer seemed to be available for Mr. Schnell but he said he would continue to ask.