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Elected WilCo Leaders Get Raises, Deputies Still Waiting

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 09:47 PM CDT

There are new developments on a deputy shortage affecting your safety in Williamson County.  Some of the people in charge already earn a six figure salary.  They'll soon earn more.  All while needed salary increases for underpaid sheriff's deputies remain in limbo. 

Elected officials in Williamson County haven't gotten a raise in five years.  That will soon change.  Constables and justices of the peace will get a five percent raise.  Commissioners, who approved the raise, and other elected leaders will get a four percent raise.  Commissioners will now take home close to $90,000 a year.  The deputies who protect them start at $42,000.

"They were looking at the market conditions, they were looking at what the elected officials make compared to other elected officials with similar job responsibilities," explained public information officer Connie Watson when asked what prompted the salary increase.

Her point is the same point law enforcement has been arguing.  In a recent commissioners court meeting, Emergency Services Director John Sneed told commissioners, "We have to attract and keep quality.  To do that I think we need to level the playing field."

A salary study confirmed the field is not level.  In Leander, a rookie cop earns $1000 more a year than a deputy.  In Round Rock, a new officer makes more than $48,000 annually.  Deputies say that difference has led to an ongoing deputy shortage which affects patrols.  There's still no word however on a raise for deputies.

"We're still in the process of deciding what the salaries are going to be for county employees and particularly law enforcement and corrections," says Watson.  "The county has spent a lot of time effort and money into looking at the salary survey. And I think that is symbolic of what the commissioners court feels that it's an issue that needs to be addressed," she continued.

Deputies and other employees have to wait until all the details of the budget are worked out.  They should know by the end of August.

By Melanie LoftonElected WilCo Leaders Get Raises, Deputies Still Waiting



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