Raises On The Way?

Loudon County Court Clerk, Lisa Niles, in 4th of July parade
asking the voters to re-elect her? Seriously??

A couple of weeks ago, Loudon County commission was notified that the on going legal action against the tax payers by court clerk Lisa Niles, would not be back before the judge before December or possibly March of next year. This means that all her employees, for the third year in a row, would not get their raises. None of her 18 or 19 employees have gotten their 2% annual raise since the 2013-2014 budget cycle. In contrast, Ms. Niles has gotten her annual raises required by state law.

At Monday's workshop meeting, commission chairman, Steve Harrelson, proposed that the county find a way to give Ms. Niles employees their current and back raises in spite of Ms. Niles actions to prevent it.

Harrelson had met with the county mayor, finance director and others to seek a legal way to provide the raises. Technically, her employees can not receive their raises unless Niles signs her salary agreement which she has refused to do for the last three budget cycles. Finance director, Tracy Blair, cautioned commissioners that it is possible that the state comptroller's office could find fault with the commission's action which could result in an audit finding.

Based on the discussion at the workshop, it appears that most commissioners agreed that Niles employees deserve and should have their raises in spite of Ms. Niles. The matter will be on the commission agenda to be voted on at our August 1st meeting.

I commend commission Harrelson for bring this proposal to commission and I support his proposal 100% as it seems that other commissioners do also.

What Ms. Niles has done to the tax payers of Loudon County is despicable but preventing her employees from receiving their due raises just goes beyond the pale. Just think of it. Her employees, many who are certainly on the lower end of the wage scale, have been denied their small raises for three years while Ms. Niles continued to get her raises. In the 2014-2015 fiscal year, Niles got a $2,290.00 raise. With her most recent raise her 2016-2017 salary will now be $71,690.00. Not only have her employees not gotten their raises, but as the cost of health insurance continues to increase, her employees have actually seen a decrease in their take home pay.

In order for the commission to give Niles employees their raises without a problem with the comptroller, Ms. Niles must sign a supplemental salary agreement. But let me be clear, even if she refuses to sign the agreement to again deny her employees their due raises, I think commission will still move forward with the raises, comptroller not withstanding.

It's hard to fathom an elected official, a servant of the people, doing to the tax payers and her employees what she has done. It's even harder to believe that she would have the gall to show up at a local 4th of July parade asking the voters to re-elect her again. Just think of it. Ms. Niles has cost the tax payers tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal costs. She has prevented her employees from getting their raises but she has the nerve to ask voters to re-elect her? I guess so she can do it to everybody again? Her campaign slogan should be, "please forget about what I've done to everybody but re-elect me." I think she's got a little Hillary Clinton in her or maybe a lot of Hillary Clinton.