The Pulaski County Council has referred a series of salary-related requests to its salary matrix committee. Prosecutor Dan Murphy has been asking for a pay raise for the victim’s assistance coordinator, to bring the position in line with the conditions of the grant that funds it. He initially suggested removing the position from the county’s salary matrix entirely, but last week, he told council members that it might be better to create a new position in the salary matrix to reflect the new responsibilities.
Council Member Mike Tiede liked his first idea better, though. “Why don’t we just jerk her out of the matrix and pay her what the grant says and be done with it?” he asked. “I mean, why does she have to be in the matrix Because if in two years, it goes away, and then what happens next year if the grant doesn’t give anything and we give another raise? You know, it’s like you get with the grant is. If somebody says, ‘Oh, she’s making eight dollars a week more than I am,’ well, too bad. She’s got a federal grant. She might not have a job next week.”
But Council Member Kathi Thompson didn’t like the precedent that would set for county department heads. “When they write their grant proposals, they can just forget everything about the matrix and they can write in a salary that they want to hire anybody at,” she said. “And someone who does the same job as somebody else in the county, if it’s a grant, you can write it in, and they’ll be paid more because they person who’s writing the grant has the power of that pen.”
In the end, the council voted to establish a new position for the victim’s assistance coordinator in the county’s salary matrix, with the pay level and other terms to be defined by the matrix committee. Tiede cast the lone opposing vote.
Similarly, EMS Director Brandon DeLorenzo’s requests to incorporate a reinstated assistant EMS director position and an on-call pay rate into the matrix were referred to the committee, as well. Sheriff Jeff Richwine asked that members also consider his department in the on-call pay discussions.
The matrix committee consists of council members Ken Boswell, Scott Hinkle, and Kathi Thompson.