By David Beard
The Dominion Post
CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A bill to raise the salaries for county elected officials breezed through the Senate Government Organization Committee in a matter of seconds Tuesday, Feb. 11. Monongalia County commissioners are divided on the issue.
SB 379, crafted during interims, reduces the number of county classifications from 10 to five and proposes raises for county commissioners, sheriffs, assessors, county and circuit clerks and prosecuting attorneys, starting July 1, 2016.
The draft bill gives roughly 12 percent raises, with potential 3 percent cost-of-living raises every two years.
Mon County Commissioner Eldon Callen attended the meeting and voiced his opposition afterward. “I’m disappointed. I’ve got real problems with the bill. I’ve got real problems with the politics of pay raises. … It’s not right for the judges to get raises two or three times and county officials, who do just as important jobs, not get raises because they don’t have political clout. … We need a blue ribbon commission on compensation. It needs to get out of the political realm…”