Pulaski County Council Votes to Give Chief Deputy Coroner a Pay Raise

After months of discussions, the Pulaski County Council has finally agreed to give the chief deputy coroner a pay raise. Council members voted six-to-one Monday to pay the chief deputy coroner 82 percent of what the coroner makes. That will amount to almost $8,100 a year, which is more than four times the current pay level. Mike Tiede cast the lone opposing vote.

The same motion was made during November’s council meeting, but members decided to hold off before making a decision. Newly-elected council member Kathi Thompson asked to revisit the issue Monday. “How do you expect a person to do the job that the chief deputy is expected to do for $1,700 a year?” she asked. “What’s the deal there?”

Once again, Council Member Ken Boswell said he felt the council’s two options were to pay the chief deputy the county’s standard part-time rate of $14 an hour or the usual chief deputy pay level of 82 percent of the department head’s salary.

Thompson asked him who determines which category the position falls under. “Is that the council or is that the commissioners?” she asked.

Boswell replied, “The coroner, by statute, is allowed to have a chief deputy, by statute.”

Thompson responded, “So if he’s allowed to have a chief deputy and our matrix rules say that the chief deputy makes [82] percent of the pay, I make a motion that we change this matrix and allow the chief deputy to be paid [82] percent.”

However, Monday’s action was just the first step in the process. The appropriate salary documentation has to be amended, approved, and signed by council members, before the raise may take effect. Council members also pointed out that an additional appropriation will likely be needed, to make the necessary funds available.