Only three of 13 agree to pay cuts so far - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Only three of 13 agree to pay cuts so far

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Sheriff Kevin Sproul Sheriff Kevin Sproul
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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – When the Dougherty County commission cut the pay of employees by 2%, they also sent a letter to judges and constitutional officers, asking them to agree to a voluntarily pay cut.

They can't be forced to take the cut per state law, but at a time when the county is struggling to balance its budget, any savings is appreciated.

All Dougherty County employees will receive five unpaid holidays in the next fiscal year.
The first one, July 5th, employees will lose 8 hours of pay. And now, some high ranking officials will also feel the pinch in their paychecks.

For her 25 years of service to Dougherty County citizens, Cpl. Sherry Stovall didn't get a big raise this year, instead, she got a pay cut, along with every other county employee.

"We're all in that same boat together," She said.

But her boss, Sheriff Kevin Sproul, was not required to take to jump on that boat.  Yet on the same day the county asked constitutional officers and judges to voluntarily take a pay cut, he agreed to it.

"I could not stand up in front of my employees and tell them that they were going to take a significant hit on their pay and as their leader, as their superior, to not take one myself.  It was the right thing for me to do from the outset."

Cpl. Stovall says that pay cut shows the true character of her boss. "It shows that he's a caring supervisor and he cares for his co-workers and people that's up under him and it shows that he's willing to sacrifice for his employees."

It's a sacrifice the county asked of the Sheriff and other employees like him to help make it through this tough time.

"The recession is a deep recession and it's a sustaining recession and it affects everybody and the county commission is doing its best to reduce costs and try to enhance revenues where it can," said Richard Crowdis, County Administrator.

Today, we could only track down one of the ten officials who did not accept the pay cut.  Judge Herbie Solomon pointed out, it cannot be forced. "State law says that judges salaries can't be cut.  It's as simple as that," he said.

And it was simple for the Sheriff too. "I know I don't have to, but it's the thing I want to do.  I feel it's the right thing for me to do."

Getting in the boat with his employees to ride out the recession.

Superior Court Judge Stephen Goss and Magistrate Court Judge Robert Revell also agreed to the voluntary reduction in pay. Even though those three are the only ones who have responded, that doesn't mean others will not agree to the pay cut.

If all 13 Judges and constitutional officers agreed to the cut in pay, it would save the county close to $21-thousand dollars during the next year. The cut per paycheck would range  from $32, up to almost $102.


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