In an interesting move yesterday, the Democrat candidates for Mayor (John Litz), Sheriff (Ernie Burzell), County Clerk (Scotty Rines), and Circuit Court Clerk (Bobby Davis) held a press conference to announce that each, if elected, will turn back 10% of his salary to the county for their first two years in office. Click here.
The Democrat candidates, of course, challenged their respective opponents (Bill Brittain, Esco Jarnagin, Linda Wilder, and Teresa West) to do the same.
Maybe the Republican opponents will meet the challenge and do the Democrats one better and offer a 20% salary rebate for four years. Maybe we will have a bidding war for public office. Low bid gets the office.
There might even be people who are qualified and who would perform the jobs for a very modest salary plus the insurance and guaranteed retirement.
The salaries for these jobs are not peanuts and the benefits (health insurance and retirement) are great. Most people would gladly take these salaries, give back 10% or 20% or more, and be in good shape!
These are approximate yearly salaries for these positions from the 2009 audit, page 147, at the State Comptroller's website:
County Mayor: $90,000+. [NOTE: Mayor David Purkey's salary of over $90,000 exceeds the state minimum because the current County Commission threw in an extra $7,200 for the County Mayor as a car allowance "salary" at Purkey's request.]
County Clerk: $70,000+
Circuit Court Clerk: $70,000+