LUBBOCK COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock County’s two new commissioners are following up on a central issue in their recent campaigns for office, deciding to either cut or redirect their salaries.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Jason Corley and Precinct 4 Commissioner Chad Seay both discussed taking those measures while disagreeing with a 2014 decision by county commissioners to increase their salaries. County Commissioners' salaries increased from $57,600 to $79,985, which includes an expense allowance. That was an increase of $22,385.
“I’m not necessarily opposed to how much the commissioners make but what needs to be taken into consideration is how they come to that number,” Corley said. “I want to see a citizen’s board appointed to make recommendations to the commissioners on what their pay should be.”
Corley signed an Affidavit of Salary Donation on January 14 to reduce his salary to the 2014 amount of $57,600 for Fiscal Year 2019 and give the difference back to the county.
“Politicians either keep their promises or they don’t,” Corley said. “I didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot for one. Two, I don’t believe any elected official should be allowed to vote themselves a pay raise.”
Seay told KCBD he would rather keep a $4,800 stipend for precinct travel expenses and divert $17,585 dollars into an account that he controls instead of allowing it to go back to the county’s general fund. He plans to make donations to volunteer services. He plans to make his first donation to the West Carlisle Volunteer Fire Department.
“Every time I get a paycheck, which is every two weeks, I take $676.34 and put it into a money market account,” Seay said. “If I’m not able to reduce [my salary] in the budgetary process, then I will donate it.”
Seay joins Corley is advocating for a separate committee or board to make the decision on what changes should be made to commissioner salaries.
“We want to base our salary on what the average income of the county is,” Seay said. “We’ll put together a committee that’s going to tell us what percentage should we take our salary above or stay the same.”
Corley recommends having each commissioner appoint two members to that board or committee. He says the salaries should be based on the average income of the people in the county rather than comparing salaries to those of commissioners in other counties.
Both commissioners told KCBD they would continue to cut or divert their salaries as long as the commissioners court is making decisions on the amount of their salaries.