County employees to receive pay raises

By William Thompson

Quay County employees will be receiving fatter paychecks next month. County Manager Terry Turner said county employees will be receiving an average 5-percent pay raise beginning with the first pay period in July.
“We received a letter from the state Department of Finance Authority (on) June 9 approving our 2006 budget, which goes into effect July 1,” Turner said. “This pay raise will help soften the blow from the higher cost of living including higher gas prices and higher insurance costs for employees.”
County employee Ava Oldham, deputy assessor, was surprised to hear the news and said she knows exactly what she’s going to do with the extra money.
“It’s wonderful,” Oldham said. “I’m going to save it.”
Oldham said she realized that next year’s pay raise won’t be as high as 5 percent. Turner said if raises are given annually then the typical raise will be about 2.5 percent to 3 percent. Turner said this year’s 5 percent average raise helps make up for no pay raise last year.
Turner said the county currently employs 88 people. He said the county has initiated an annual employee review process, but only the road department is getting reviewed this year.
“This year road department employees will receive 3 to 7 percent pay raises based on evaluations of their employment. Three percent raises will go to those who perform as expected and 7 percent raises will go to those who have outstanding performance.”
Turner said next year all departments in the county will receive the performance evaluations and pay raises will be given out to all employees based on performance. Turner said this year most employees other than road department employees should receive 5 percent pay raises.
County employee Janie Murray, chief deputy assessor, was happy to hear of the pay raise and said she knew employees would eventually see raises.
“I knew that if the money was there in the budget, the county commissioners would pass it on to the employees,” Murray said. “We as county employees appreciate the efforts the commissioners put into the budget process.”
Turner said that he, commissioners and department heads are continuing to chip away at the budget deficit and he feels comfortable that pay raises should become an annual occurrence.