Auditors, court reporters seek 10 percent raise
The Orange County Auditor, Mary Johnson, and her staff, assistant auditors and offical court reporters are seeking a 10 percent raise.
A hearing will be held at noon on August 14 in the 260th District Court jury room for the purpose of the consideration of setting the compensation.
According to Johnson, it is the district judges who decide what her pay will be and who initially hired her. Then it was up to her to hire her staff.
Commissioners are required by law to accept into the county budget whatever the district judges decide for compensation.
“By law, they are supposed to set the salary,” Johnson said. “All of the salaries will be published when they are adoopted.”
Johnson and her staff are eligible for annual salary raises and will have to go through the hearing process each time.
The county’s fiscal year begins Oct. 1 and budget workshops are looming
Last year on Sept. 12, commissioners’ court voted to freeze elected officials salaries for one year, including Sheriff Keith Merritt, though he makes less than his chief deputy.
Sept.18, 2012 commissioners informed departments that had not offered up any voluntary cuts to slash three percent of their budget, not including payroll. “The commissioners have done all they can to date with the things in the budget they have control of,” said Thibodeaux last year. They have already told departments that went over their budget this year, they will have to come before the court to justify those expenses
Orange County will be facing tough decisions again and currently are in negotiations with the sheriff’s deputies’ union, but salaries of the auditor’s department and court reporters will not be one of them.
“It unfortunate,” said Thibodeaux, but that is one area of the budget the court has no control over.