After a 6-1 vote to give themselves a raise, DeKalb County commissioners are now feeling the heat.
Sgt. Robert De Graaf is vice president of the Dekalb Fraternal Order of Police and said public safety just got the shaft.
"They give themselves this substantial raise while our officers are have to work part-time jobs so they can afford to take care of their families because our paycheck hasn’t kept up with the cost of living raises," said Graaf.
Every commissioner except for Nancy Jester agreed to a 59-percent pay raise that will take effect January 1, 2019.
"This is ridiculous," said Graaf.
Currently, the starting salary for Dekalb County Commissioners is $40,530.55. With the raise, it will increase to $64,741.50
Meanwhile, the starting salary for a police officer is only $38,000.
The Dekalb Professional Firefighters issued the following statement regarding the raise:The DeKalb Professional Firefighters believe that a secure future should be a priority for every man and woman who is willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for this community and its residents. Yesterday the Board of Commissioners voted to ensure a secure financial future for themselves. We anticipate they are now ready to take substantive actions to ensure the Firefighters serving across DeKalb County have that same level of long term security to provide for their families over the course of their career."A 59% pay raise. The fox is in charge of the hen house and has it’s pick of eggs and poultry," said Graaf.
Dekalb County Commissioner Jeff Rader is the presiding officer of the board. He voted in favor of the raise and said county commissioners are the lowest paid elected officials who work long hours making only 1/3 of the salary of a superior court judge.
"The last time that commissioner compensation was changed was in 2004 so if you applied a 3% annual compounded increase it wouldn’t be much different from this," said Rader.
"Really? You give yourself this horrendously substantial raise and you can’t give us a worthwhile raise? A 3-percent raise after a 10-year drought. That’s just wrong," said Graaf.
Rader disagrees with the claim that it has been a 10-year drought on raises for public safety. He went on to say that commissioner raises won't impede on future raises for public safety.
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