By Ray King
The Budget and Finance Committee of the Jefferson County Quorum Court voted Tuesday night to rescind their previous approval of changes in the budget for the Tax Collector which included increasing the salary of the Chief Deputy.
After a discussion that sometimes became heated, the county’s legislative body approved a motion to return the tax collector’s slots and appropriations to their 2020 status.
Justice of the Peace Jimmy Fisher, the new chairman of the budget and Finance Committee said in a letter to the other justices that the action “should avoid any potential legal liability for the county.”
The problems arose when Tax Collector Tony Washington asked to increase the salary of his chief deputy to match the salaries of chief deputies for the other elected officials. However, when asked, Washington said the money would go to the office bookkeeper, not the person who is listed filling the role of chief deputy.
After the meeting, Washington was asked his thoughts.
Washington had proposed moving the payroll slot of the chief deputy, which was paid from county general, to another slot using funds available to his office, and moving another employee into the slot designated for the chief deputy.
Justice of the Peace Ted Harden, who formerly chaired the Budget and Finance Committee said by cleaning up the prior legislation, Washington could “start over” and resubmit the information regarding the salary changes.
County Judge Gerald Robinson also talked about the confusion that led to rescinding the ordinance and the setting of a special committee meeting prior to the regular meeting of the Quorum Court next Monday so that Washington can submit paperwork to still give the raise.
The meeting was the first for two new members of the Quorum Court, Reginald Johnson who represents District 3 and Glenda Daniels who represents District 6. Johnson replaced Tina Butler, who had been appointed to the position when former Justice of the Peace Delton Wright resigned and was not eligible to run for office. Daniels filled the position formerly held by the late Dr. Herman Ginger.