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Board member insists on raise for elections supervisor

By Sherri Ellington Most budget and other public hearings go on without people saying much of anything, but a board of elections member had a question about the 2012 Lamar County budget during a hearing on the 2013 spending plan. At the Dec. 11 public hearing, Alice Ramseur insisted voter registrar Anita Reid get what Ramseur said was a budgeted raise last year. The budget had actually been for Reid’s salary and that of part time worker Marjorie Faulkner. However, the line item said the wages were Reid’s alone. Reid said she understood she had not been given a raise. A separate line item covers costs for elections workers and substitute office help. Yet another covers fees paid to board members of $100 a meeting. ‘Everybody deserves a raise and we’re working hard to get to that point,’ said commission chairman Jay Matthews. ‘We’ve been very vocal about not giving anybody raises.’ It was decided to separate Faulkner’s salary in a separate line item but Ramseur was not pleased. ’I don’t like it,’ she said. ‘(Reid) deserves that raise. The board asked for it, it came through on the 2012 budget and we thought she’d get it.’ Commissioner Benny Horton noted that, while no one got raises, no one was laid off. ‘We worked hard to make that happen,’ said Horton. Matthews was to have met with the elections board Dec. 17 to explain the error and how it will be fixed. The 2013 budget is set for approval Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 6 p.m. in the commission meeting room in the courthouse. The spending plan is balanced at $8,359,786, reflecting a 6.3% decrease in the tax digest. A copy of the complete proposed budget is available for inspection during business hours in the commission office.

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