Montgomery County Commission Votes for Expense Raise

Two commissioners accepted the increase in expense pay
Two commissioners accepted the increase in expense pay

The Montgomery County Commission recently deeded land to Pike Road which allowed the community to expand its town limit to include a major east side retailer.

But there was another vote at that meeting that has received virtually no publicity until now.

The commissioner voted themselves an increase in expense pay.

It happened almost a month ago when no media persons were there.

Only three out of the five commissioners were present.

"I would have voted against it," says Chairman Todd Strange. He was out of town when two of the three commissioners present voted to give themselves a $6,000-per-year raise in their expense account.

Strange says, "I would have tried to have amended it to have the $6,000 additional expense become effective at the next term whoever was the commissioner that was elected then."

Most of the commissioners declined to accept the increase at least for September, but commissioners Elton Dean and Jiles Williams checked to accept it.

Strange says, "That is between that commissioner and his constituiency. If his constituiency supports that then I'm fine with that because that's his constituiency. They elect him. I didn't elect Jiles or I didn't elect Elton and as I talk to you today I truly do not know whether they're accepting it or not accepting it."

Neither Dean nor Williams could be reached for comment but Strange says you might have to travel 30 miles to get from one end of a district to the other.

A county commissisoner makes a salary of about $15,000 a year plus an expense account of $16,000 a year.

If they check to receive the increase, those commissioners can make more than $30,000 a year.

"They're all taking time away from their earning opportunities to be of public service and so I think it is a great value that the citizens of Montgomery County are getting."

"Go and ask Mobile what they get. Go and ask Birmingham what they get? Go and ask Huntsville what they get and I think you'll find we're about half of what they are," Strange says.

WSFA 12 News did check with the county commissions of Madison, Mobile and Jefferson counties and it's true.

They pay their county commissioners anywhere from $57 to $75-thousand a year.

In addition to that some commissioners even get a car and an expense account, but those counties have full time county commissioners. Montgomery's commissioners are part-time.

However Baldwin County has partime commissioners and they are paid $32,000 a year and they get a car or mileage.

The county commissioners are expected to take up the county budget when they meet again Monday morning.

They're also expected to go into executive session with their lawyers to discuss the annexation of Ryan Road to the town of Pike Road.