San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 8th, 2009
Letter to the editor: Questioning commissioner pay hikes


It’s already a Happy New Year for Hays County Commissioners Jeff Barton of Pct. 2 (D-Kyle), Debbie Gonzales Ingalsbe of Pct. 1 (D-San Marcos) and Will Conley of Pct. 3 (R-San Marcos). Their salaries this year will climb about $8,290, from $56,757 to $65,048. That’s a 14.6 percent jump.

Wait a minute!

I remember all three of them very publicly declining this pay hike back in September when the county’s 2009 fiscal year budget was being discussed.

Ingalsbe said she felt uncomfortable accepting a large pay increase. Conley even voted against one of the pay packages then under discussion.

Barton went a step further, announcing in an affidavit he sent to the county auditor and the county treasurer in September, that: “I do not feel comfortable accepting such a large increase in my own pay . . . In these economic hard times, in this age of cynicism, I feel compelled to go “above and beyond” if we are to reinvigorate the public trust.”

Excuse me if I appear to be cynical, but how does being two-faced with public money “reinvigorate the public trust”?

Charles O’Dell, Ph.D.

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32 thoughts on “Letter to the editor: Questioning commissioner pay hikes

  1. And did Commissioner Ford and Judge Sumter also accept their raises as well? What were their stances on this raise? Did they state as well that they were opposed to accepting, or did they just take it gratefully without a word either way?

    The new Congress apparently also has done the same with giving themselves a pay raise in the face of a down and struggling economy; and when inquiring of Congressman Doggett if he would vote against such a raise, his response to me was that the program of raises was something that happens automatically, and that it was approved before he became a congressman. Never said he wouldn’t take the raise, never said that he would vote against the raise; never said that he would introduce a bill to change the process of automatic raises. I don’t fault him for his raise, if it passed, and he feels that he is entitled, and wishes to keep it, then do so; just don’t act sanctimonious about CEO’s having excessive salaries when their salaries are set by boards of trustees for talented individuals who are paid (supposedly) for their ability to guide and manage a company successfully in the business realm.

  2. Agree with you, JT, but the reason I mentioned Comm. Barton in particular is that he and Comm. Conley made a big deal publicly out of voting against it the last time.

  3. OK, lets talk about this for a moment. In the first county Commissioners meeting, two of the commissioners voted to give themselves a hugh pay increase pay increase the other three denied themselves an increase, saying that they preferred to ask, and pay for ten thousand dollar salary study to an pay increase for themselves. My question is did they ask for a salary study for all at will employees? Come on everyone is important here! I think, right now times are hard and they should have bit the bullet and not paid for a salary study,just to substantiate a salary increase for themselves.
    I will make myself available as a candidate in the next election. That’s a Promise, if God permits.

  4. Come on folks. You act like you don’t know what’s going on.

    It’s all a public show. Conley and Ingalsbe were running for reelection and Barton is running for county judge (2010).

    Conley works on the wasteful and bloated county budget, including debt service for the $227 million in road bonds, and then votes AGAINST the tax hike required to pay for the bonds. “Voted against the tax hike” makes a great election campaign issue ad. (See Conley’s web site)

    Barton goes even farther with his grandstanding as he prepares for the 2010 county judge race. He sent an sworn afidavit to the county treasurer and auditor that “I do not feel comfortable accepting such a large increase in my own pay…”

    Then the court votes to spend $10,000 for a consultant to evaluate court pay, and hides behind a group of citizens the court appointed to look into the court’s salaries.

    They hide behind citizen groups they appoint (road bond, transportation, salaries, etc.) and waste $10,000 for a study to justify an amount about which the court had already put on the public show.

    Barton has an advantage that Conley, Ingalsbe and the rest of the court doesn’t have. Barton owns The Hays Free Press and (Link deleted – Offsite links are not permitted in the comment thread)
    that he uses to tell the story the way he wants readers/voters to have.

    Get the picture?

    Get the details at (Link deleted – Offsite links are not permitted in the comment thread)

  5. Who’s being two-faced Charles? You’re not telling the whole story.

    How much does Judge Sumter get in extra bonuses for serving as a judicial judge, in addition to her role as county judge? And is she really fulfilling her responsibilities in this role?

    You claim to be an objective watchdog of government Charles. So, when it comes to Judge Sumter, why are you her lapdog?

  6. I would think it personally and fiscally irresponsible to approve any pay raise when the rest of us are doing so poorly (economically speaking) this past year. Shouldn’t pay raises be tied to accomplishments? And even so, is it really wise to approve pay raises right now? How many of you have received pay raises this year? And for business owners, how many of you have seen an increase in net income this year? There’s your answer folks.

  7. Hello, people!!! They voted for a 14 percent pay increase!!!

    How many of you folks are getting a 14 percent pay increase at your jobs?

    It seems in so many ways that this group of commissioners has a difficult time considering actions that are in the best interests of the community at-large.

    Now is NOT the time for commissioners to give themselves a large pay hike. It shows poor judgment and lack of leadership credibility.

  8. So Lila, except for his overlooking Judge Sumter do you then agree with what Charles O’Dell has stated about the other commissioners?

    It seems that you are just disputing O’Dell’s view of Sumter.

  9. As usual, Charles O’Dell is using Rovian tactics by taking people’s comments out of context and stating only limited facts that he “misinterprets” for us to enflame people’s opinions about only certain commissioners – those commissioners who don’t agree with his agenda.

    You never get the whole story with O’Dell. Because that would give people a very different picture. I believe that some people call it the “truth.”

    He does not state that it was a group of Hays County citizens who conducted the review of the Commissioners Court salaries and made recommendations based on comparisons with other similar counties.

    He also does not state what Commissioner Ford will be receiving nor what Judge Sumter will be receiving. He certainly does not inform us what Sumter’s TOTAL salary is after you add on what she receives for her additional judicial duties.

    Peter, there are many of us in this country who are just sick and tired of this kind of treatment of the facts. It just doesn’t play well anymore with the public. Palin tried to paint Obama as some kind of terrorist because of his “association” with Bill Ayres. Now, doesn’t that sound exactly like what Charles O’Dell does to some of our local politicians? People are tired of this! If you don’t believe me, look at the outcome of the 3 elections O’Dell had a hand in last November: the road bond; Wyatt’s (or whatever his name was) election for Co. Commissioner; and Klepfer’s bid for Co. Commissioner. It’s become very plain for all to see – except maybe you – that if you want to lose an election in this county, just have O’Dell touch your campaign with his venom. People just want the truth. And that is NOT what O’Dell gives us in his diatribes.

    If O’Dell supports Judge Sumter, that’s great. I don’t have a problem with it. But he might do more for her in the long run if he spent more time and effort focusing on her positive points – than trying to run down the people he (or she) perceives as her so-called enemies.

  10. Lila darling,

    Why do you obfuscate, change the subject and present erroneous information?

    My letter is about the three stooges who tried to make monkeys of the voters with their 8th grade antics.

    You might not agree with the pay raise, but Judge Sumter and Commissioner Ford accepted their pay raises without the hypocritical and political public grandstanding that Barton, Conley and Ingalsbe performed.

    As for the recommendations by “a group of Hays County citizens who conducted the review of the Commissioners Court salaries…” you referenced, those recommendations won’t be made to commissioners’ court until TOMORROW, and guess who is sponsoring the agenda item…your hero, Barton.

    Agenda item 16. “11AM Presentation and review of Citizens Committee report Elected Officials Compensation Survey, BARTON/BAEN”

    Oops! So much for a fake process…and your timing.

    Remember the sage warning Lila darling: “Only you can make a fool of yourself”, and you have done just that once again.

    Go sit in the corner for an hour and think about how you will try to be a better person.

  11. Okay, Lila, certainly you are entitled to point that out, but the bottom-line is that regardless what commissioners [all of them] are making in salary, now is NOT the time to take a pay raise, especially one that is a 14 percent increase.

    Certainly, you must agree with that, don’t you?

    In this economy people are not getting such raises. Heck, a lot of folks [7.2 percent] currently are unemployed and soon many more will lose their jobs.

    It’s just not the right thing to do and [all] our commissioners seem to have their own interests at heart, and not just with this salary issue — with quite a few other issues.

    Another issue I have with this is the $10,000 spent on the salary “study”. Do we have so much money that we can throw it away? If so, I’ll gladly take a few thousand dollars if commissioners want to toss more away, as I’m certain most county residents would as well.

    This is NOT right and county residents should demand that the commissioners return their raise increases and wait for better economic times like the rest of us have to.

  12. The obfuscation is on the part of Mr. O’Dell, not myself.

    What Commissioner Barton actually said, when he turned down the raise in September that Sumter and Ford DID accept, was: “I do not feel comfortable accepting such a large increase in my own pay without a thorough, public review and authorization by impartial citizens.” That review is now complete and they actually recommended a much larger raise for the Commissioners than he is now accepting. (any recommendation by the citizens review study can not be implemented until next budget cycle).

    Mr. O’Dell did not finish the quote by Commissioner Barton. Instead, he utilizes an incomplete quote, taking it out of context to fulfill his own mean-spirited agenda. This is exactly the type of misinterpretation of facts to which I was referring when I claimed O’Dell uses Rovian tactics to enflame people’s opinion of his perceived enemies. I just don’t know how I can make this any clearer. Or rather, how O’Dell makes it any clearer.

    He also fails to mention that their report was complete and ready to present to the Court Dec. 12th. But with the need to appoint a new Sheriff and with the Christmas holidays, it was postponed. Gee. What evil people with such dark motives!! Get over it Charles. There really is an informed public out there.

    He also fails to mention that Judge Sumter is currently pulling a $103,542 salary. Under the Citizens Committee recommendation, she will make $132,976. But she has never held a county-elected office before. What kind of experience does she bring to the job to warrant this kind of salary? Does her service to the County over the last couple of years deserve this type of compensation, or is it just based on similar counties? I’m not trying to answer these questions. Because quite honestly, I don’t know the answers. I’ll leave that up to Dr. Know-It-All. But an honest look at the salaries of the Commissioners Court might look at some of these questions. But O’Dell’s letter was purely politically motivated.

    And Peter Darling. the Commissioners and Judge Sumter have NOT raised their salaries as a result of the recommendations of the citizens study. The Commissioners Court will revisit this during the next budget cycle and vote on it at that time. And YOU don’t deserve any money. You haven’t done anything for the citizens of Hays County. They are elected, but they also work 40 hours a week and deserve a salary. You can debate how much you think it should be until the cows come home. Your opinion does not concern me.

    Personally, I think it was thoughtful that the Commissioners Court did give raises to other County employees first. I admire each and everyone of the Commissioners Court for this. But once again, Mr. O’Dell did not see fit to mention this.

  13. Lila, you are so “sweet” with your responses. Did I attack you at all on this blog? Why are you attacking me? My opinion doesn’t matter to you? Fine, then don’t respond to my writing.

    Are you trying to show how nasty you are?

    I have an idea. Let’s make a pact not to communicate with each other any more. Okay? I’ll leave you alone and you can reciprocate.

  14. Lila darling,

    Your posts read like one of the Barton’s wrote them. I can understand why.

    But you keep avoiding important information: Barton, Conley and Ingalsbe started taking the pay raise LAST YEAR, and Baron’s so called “public review and authorization by impartial citizens” that he sought for cover is just now being presented TODAY in commissioners’ court.

    I should point out that no citizens group can “authorize” a pay raise. Only commissioners’ court can do that, and they did. Lets see. It takes a majority of three to pass a motion and Barton, Conley and Ingalsbe declined the pay raise on a five member court until recommended by a citizen committee they appointed and a consultant they hired. Can you do the math? Sumter and Ford approved the pay raise all by themselves?

    Do you see the problem here? Barton, Conley and Ingalsbe were grandstanding before the election last year in declining the pay raise they approved; Barton sends his hypocritical sworn afidavit to county officials declining any pay raise until recommendations are made by a cover your ass citizens group that are just now being presented (TODAY), but all three began taking the declined pay raise LAST YEAR. Tell me, what’s Barton’s word worth? Nothing!

    The court appointed citizens group role was simply to forward recommendations the court paid a consultant $10,000 to make.

    Duh! Pay most any consultant $10,000 and you get the answer you want. Even so, all three began taking the pay raise LAST YEAR that they approved but declined until recommendations were presented by the citizen committee, which is TODAY.

    So stop trying to put the Barton spin on his hypocritical political games. To keep this episode in perspective keep thinking: Took declined pay raise LAST YEAR; Citizen report TODAY.

    I’m sorry Lila darling, it’s another hour in the corner for you studying your basic math and simple logic.

  15. When, exactly, LAST YEAR, did they start to take the pay increase? And, when did commissioner’s court hear the results of the consultant’s study and the citizen group recommendation?

  16. Okay, here’s the deal. Commissioners Court approved pay raises LAST year for themselves and OTHER elected officials during apart of the 2008-2009 budget process. Barton, Conley and Inglasbe refused to take their raises until they were approved by a citizens advisory committee. They felt uncomfortable setting their own raises. These raises were, however, approved by Commissioners Court.

    A citizens advisory committee met. They actually wound up approving raises above and beyond what the Commissioners Court approved. Their report was finished in early December. Because of the need to appoint a new Sheriff and the subsequent holidays, they never got on the agenda to make a formal presentation. They are just now making a formal presentation to the Court. The report, however, is in the hands of our county officials as of early December.

    The salaries that are above and beyond what Commissioners Court approved last year, but were recommended by the citizens advisory committee are NOT in play right now. These will be voted on during the next budget cycle. The only pay raises currently being taken are those voted on LAST year.

    Some people are just getting ahead of themselves to make other people look bad. It’s the regular old spin. Barton is bad. Conley is bad. Ingalsbe is bad.

    I think I’m with you semi-bored. This is just getting really, really boring.

    And Peter – I’ll take you up on your deal in a NY minute. The clock starts NOW.

  17. Lila darling,

    Boring maybe but when exposed, the Barton spin on political grandstanding before the 2008 November election and in preparation for the 2010 election was predictable.

    It won’t work. Barton’s antics have been exposed before. The Pct 1 Martinez OSSF debacle and the shameful Ramus Frankenstein that he and Conley created.

    As a Bartonista you can put all the face saving spin you want on a disingenuous, hypocritical political game but it doesn’t change the facts and you won’t fool the voters, try as you may.

    This is the same kind of “process” Barton will follow to appoint a new Pct. 5 JP, after he got Commissioner Ingalsbe to nominate his choice for sheriff after the court had already dutifully voted in October to make Barton’s choice the JP.

    And so it goes with the GOB.

  18. Lila darling,

    Boring maybe but when exposed, the Barton spin on political grandstanding before the 2008 November election and in preparation for the 2010 election was predictable.

    It won’t work. Barton’s antics have been exposed before. The Pct 1 Martinez OSSF debacle and the shameful Ramus Frankenstein that he and Conley created.

    As a Bartonista you can put all the face saving spin you want on a disingenuous, hypocritical political game but it doesn’t change the facts and you won’t fool the voters, try as you may.

    This is the same kind of “process” Barton will follow to appoint a new Pct. 5 JP, after he got Commissioner Ingalsbe to nominate his choice for sheriff after the court had already dutifully voted in October to make Barton’s choice the JP.

    And so it goes with the GOB.

    It’s back to the corner for you Lila darling.

  19. Charles, in your world would you would have the cheapest surgeons do your heart bypass? It moronic to think that the 5 members of the Court, some of whom I support and some of whom I don’t, should expect to do the job for far less than they would get paid in private industry. You get what you pay for, In your world Charles nothing would work well because you only deal with the lowest bidder, and frankly as we can see cheapest is not always best. If we really want to attract top flight candidates then the County needs to be prepared to pay a competitive wage.

  20. Regardless of when and how the commissioners approved their raises — along with those of other county employees — and regardless of when the raises will be applied, sometime next year we’re told, it is inappropriate during these hard economic times for commissioners to get 14 percent pay increases.

    Who gives a damn whether some paid group determined they should get more than 14-percent based on a study?

    Did anyone consider the poor economic climate?

    Again, who else is getting a 14-percent pay increase? You don’t give those sort of raises in bad economic times.

    And commissioners should get it because they manage the county? That’s the reason? It’s ridiculous. It sends out a sour signal.

  21. Dr. Rove. You have not yet addressed the issue that ALL of the commissioners received raises. They have all sinned in your eyes. Will you please address this.

  22. Peter and Charles, do you think that these guys have crystal balls? How could they have known last year what would happen this year? What we need now is leadership. Do you expect our leaders to starve? Let’s look at where there is real waste, let’s look at the departments that have grown to accommodate a need that does not exist. Let’s look at our Court House and see where the real fat is. It is certainly not in the meager pay our Commissioners t get. This debate is just a smoke screen that is covering up a far more insidious cancer. Let’s look at the new Courthouse and the flood plain it sits in and ask those who were on that committee why they voted to waste millions on a Court House with a river thru it. Here we are arguing over pennies when Millions are at risk.

  23. David and Lila darling,

    It’s not about the pay raise, it’s about the cheap theatrics three court members engaged in while voting themselves the raise.

    Are you really that dense or are you just trying to distract from the fact that Barton, Conley and Ingalsbe engaged in deceitful and disingenuous theatrics in an effort to fool voters by pretending sensitivity to the hard times when voting themselves a hefty pay raise.

    Why didn’t they just take the pay raise they gave themselves like Sumter and Ford did and that would have been the end of it…except for discussions about whether they should have voted themselves a pay raise at all.

    No, Barton, Conley and Ingalsbe had to put on the public show of how they “wouldn’t feel comfortable accepting the pay raise in these hard times.” Once they got that wonderful message in the press, and it was published in Barton’s Free Press for sure, then they quietly accepted the raise they voted themselves…but you sure didn’t read about that in newspapers.

    When the Roundup exposed the slippery three’s slight of hand, the Barton spin machine kicked in full damage control. That’s where you come in Lila darling.

    My letter and comments have not dealt with the question of pay raise merit, but rather the deceitful and dishonest theatrics by Barton, Conley and Ingalsbe surrounding their pay raises. Why didn’t they just accept the pay raise quietly and be responsible instead of playing dishonest games with the voters?

    The three of them just got caught and were exposed. You can’t change that.

  24. Charles all you are doing is raking muk rather dealing with substantive issues. Why don’t you also deal with that horrible mess called the new Court house. It’s a fact that the committee knew that the seller had a study that showed that the property would flood and flood often, yet for some reason they ignored it when the recommended it. I can’t remember who was on the committee right now at 6 am and Gregson the owner of Newstreamz was the losing landowner so it is a tad bit unfair to talk about this in his publication, but if you want to talk about really saving the County money rather than cheap politics then talk about something like this that saves millions rather than cheap politics and theater that benefits only folks you like.

  25. Hmmm. Charles just won’t let this go. Talk about theatrics… It’s not Barton, Conley and Ingalsbe that have engaged in theatrics. It’s actually YOU, Charles, that is being quite melodramatic about this whole non-issue.

    Perhaps you are feeling the need for a smoke-screen to defend the massive pay-raise given to Judge Sumter. That’s what this is really all about, isn’t it?

    That’s why you refuse to address just how much money she receives now. And just how much money the Citizens Review Committee recommended for her future pay raise.

    And she took the money. Without hesitation. So did Ford.

    I guess it makes you feel kind of bad that the people you support took such a big pay raise without hesitation and without any input from the public. I know you are really big on citizens input. Poor Charlie. I guess they let you down on this one.

    So you try to spin this by making the others look bad, never mentioning the other two members of Commissioners Court and the raises they took. I don’t know Charles. I don’t think this one is working for you.

    Maybe it’s time to move on to Plan B in your Karl Rove Playbook.

    And stop stealing my “darling” slogan. As well as the bits from Sarah Palin – you know, like the references to “GOB” (I think we had enough of that during the campaign). Geez. If you can’t be creative on your own, at least go farther afield so we won’t know where you’re stealing from…

  26. Lila darling,

    At question is whether citizens can trust their elected officials. Do they do what they promise and how they vote?

    Barton, Conley and Ingalsbe said they would not accept more than a 3% raise. Conley and Ingalsbe were up for reelection. Barton had already begun his run for county judge in 2010. Conley voted “no” on the motion, but along with Barton and Ingalsbe took the full 14% pay raise.

    It was all an election ploy to fool voters. So much for Barton’s hypocritical affidavit. Ingalsbe didn’t even file her promised affidavit…she and Conley just took the money and ran along with Barton.

    OK, lets end this dance with the official minutes. Its online at the Hays County Government web site:

    VOLUME T PAGE 866 ********** SEPTEMBER 10, 2008 25553 SET THE SALARIES AND ALLOWANCES FOR HAYS COUNTY ELECTED OFFICIALS FOR FY2009 [T1 –1042] Commissioner Barton advised that he will not be accepting more than a 3 percent salary increase and he will be filing an Affidavit stating the same. Commissioner Ingalsbe advised that she too will be filing an affidavit to not accept more than a 3 percent salary increase. They both stated that they are in favor of salary increases for other elected officials. Commissioner Conley spoke of getting a citizens committee to assess the elected official’s salaries. Commissioner Ford spoke of need to support the vote for the elected officials. Judge Sumter spoke of last year when the Court gave elected officials a 4 ½ percent increase and only took a 2 percent increase for themselves. A motion was made by County Judge seconded by Commissioner Ford to set the salaries and allowances for County Elected Officials for FY2009. Commissioner Conley voting “No”. Commissioner Ingalsbe, Commissioner Barton, Commissioner Ford and Judge Sumter voting “Aye”. MOTION PASSED

    Lila darling, do you want to argue with the official record?

  27. The point is: you continue to use Rovian tactics by misinterpreting the facts. You hide behind so-called “documentation,” when in fact you leave out large parts of the entire story.

    You cherry-pick the facts to create a story that you want to tell. It’s creative. But it’s not factual. It’s sometimes even clever. But it’s not the truth.

  28. And I dismiss Charles’ outrage because he fails to produce a specific timeline of who knew what and when. If those date supported his case he would certainly post them. I do agree though that the raises were too much, especially at this time. I don’t think the job is that hard or requires the skill to justify those salaries and I don’t care how it compares to other counties.

  29. I would have to disagree with you, “semi-bored bystander” (I just love that name!). But only kind of.

    It’s one of those jobs where someone could get away with just showing up at commissioners court once a week and doing not much else (we’ve actually had some of those). If that were the case, I think you would be absolutely right.

    But if the commissioner actually works hard at the job, they can easily put in 60 hours a week or more of very hard work (and many of ours do just this). And some of the commissioners could bring a lot of expertise to the job in terms of knowledge of planning issues, or transportation issues, or whatever. It’s not required, but they do bring this to the table nonetheless.

    I guess the problem is we wind up paying them based on the title of the office, not on merit. Some merit more than others. But if you don’t pay them a decent liveable salary, then there is no way we will ever get good people to run for the office.

    And I’m not totally sure how they (citizens committee) came up with the rates. I’m assuming it is based on other counties. But they might have looked at other factors as well. I haven’t looked at the report. It sounds boring. I actually have better things to do. Although you wouldn’t know it…

    It’s an imperfect system. But then, we live in an imperfect world…

  30. Lila darling,

    You confuse me with Commissioner Conley who has stated in public that he is an ardent admirer, follower and practitioner of Karl Rove and his tactics.

    And one Rovian trick is to spin your mistakes by changing the subject, put a negative label on your opponent and claim he is not to be believed, blah, blah, blah.

    Here is the timeline for those who need spoon feeding:

    September 10, 2008…Commissioner Barton advised that he will not be accepting more than a 3 percent salary increase and he will be filing an Affidavit stating the same. (Official court minutes)

    September 13, 2008… Wimberley View proclaims, “Commissioners turn down raises for themselves.”

    September 17, 2008…The front page banner headline in the Kyle Eagle, “Barton declines pay raise.”

    December 2008…County Treasurer Michelle Tuttle confirmed that her office received written memos from the three commissioners accepting the new pay schedule – with the same generous increase Barton, Ingalsbe and Conley had turned down as unconscionably too high.

    December 2008…”The first increase check started in December (for the three commissioners),” “They have accepted the budgeted amount.” (County Treasurer)

    January 5, 2009…”We haven’t made a presentation to the court yet,” said a county official who oversaw the pricey citizen committee salary study.

    Spin this for Barton Lila darling.

  31. Poor Charles. No wonder he’s confused. He’s getting his news from the Kyle Eagle!

    There’s just one big problem with your timeline, and that’s your statement of so-called fact. Barton did not say he will ONLY be accepting a 3% increase. You are just downright misstating the facts here.

    This is what his letter, dated September 10, 2008, to the County Auditor and the County Treasurer states (please note I have used no dots to indicate breaks in the quotations from the letter – as in the frequent habit of the good Doctor):

    “The budget as presented by the County Judge and voted by the Court establishes a salary for County Commissioners based on benchmarks from comparable counties. This may be a reasonable approach – the final salary amount may be fair – but I do not feel comfortable accepting such a large increase in my own pay without a thorough, public review and authorization by impartial citizens.”

    “In these economic hard times, in this age of cynicism, I feel compelled to go ‘above and beyond’ if we are to reinvigorate the public trust. I have proposed that the Commissioners Court should establish an independent committee of citizens with experience in labor and management to review and recommend appropriate salaries for all elected officials in Hays County, including – especially – County Commissioners, rather than relying on ourselves to set the salary, even though the law allows and, in a sense, encourages us to set our own pay without outside consulting the public. If such a committee is appointed and does its work, and if it recommends an increase in pay, then I might at that time accept a raise – at whatever level recommended by the committee – up to the amount proposed and budgeted in our Fiscal Year 2009 budget.”

    “Until then, as provided for in Chapter 152, I elect not to accept the proposed 14.6 percent increase in salary, save only that I will accept a three percent increase for “inflation.” Thus, effective Oct. 1, I will voluntarily reduce my pay from $5420.66 per month to $4871.66 per month.”

    “Should a properly constituted citizen committee – having reviewed our work responsibilities, the size and growth rate of the county, pay benchmarks in the region, and salaries in comparable local governments – determine that Commissioners should be paid more, then I may, at that time (and not retroactively), accept a raise. In other words, I may at that time accept all or a portion of the increased monthly salary budgeted for me in the FY 2009 budget. To be clear, if the citizen committee recommends no addition to my monthly pay, I will accept none; if it recommends some but not all of the raise granted in this year’s budget, then that is what I will accept. If the committee is not formed or is unable to reach a conclusion, then my election under Chapter 152 will remain in effect and I will accept no additional salary supplement whatsoever.” (it’s actually longer than this, but this covers most of what he ACTUALLY stated).

    Guess you failed to do an open records request for the entire letter.

    Also, I don’t know who your “county official” is, but the Human Resources Director made an informal report to the court on December 16th about the results of the Citizens Review Committee on their recommendations regarding the salary. A formal presentation was not made due to the need to appoint a new Sheriff after the tragic death of Sheriff Bridges. And then the Christmas holidays. But then, I guess those facts somehow went “missing” from your timeline…

    And who oversees a 7 member citizens committee chosen at random from the jury pool? I love it when you imply things, but fail to state facts. How in the world did you ever get that Ph.D. anyway?

    And if you can get all of this wrong – how can we really believe YOU when you say Conley said something in public. Guess there’s no way to confirm that now, is there? Sweet.

    Now, who’s the hypocrite? For pete’s sake, just get your facts straight. I’m tired of talking about this subject.

  32. Charles: Why do the specific dates vanish after September? And then to say ”We haven’t made a presentation to the court yet,” is an attempt to squeeze out the possibility that the court new of the findings of the committee prior to a formal report. It all amounts to a lot of ho hum if you ask me. Not exactly Watergate.

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