The Pulaski County Council has finalized a significant pay raise for Chief Deputy Coroner Jon Frain, but not without some opposition. Council members approved a pair of wage revisions Monday.
One of them specifies that the chief deputy coroner will be paid 82 percent of the coroner’s salary, bringing it in line with the pay structure used in most other departments. That means Frain will get almost $8,100 a year, which is more than four times his previous pay level.
But Council Member Mike Tiede expressed concern that the change hadn’t been reviewed by the council’s salary matrix committee. Council Member Kathi Thompson and Council President Jay Sullivan argued that the adjustment was simply to bring the chief deputy coroner’s pay rate into compliance with the county’s salary matrix, rather than a change in the rules.
Tiede replied, “Well, I don’t care. You can argue with me all day. I’m not going to agree.”
The other wage revision approved by the council Monday gave Auditor Laura Wheeler permission to move an employee from part-time to full-time status. Wheeler said the change is designed to fill the vacancy created when JoLynn Behny left the Auditor’s Office to take over as county clerk. Wheeler noted that there is money in her budget for the full-time position.
The changes were approved by a vote of five-to-one, with Tiede opposing. He later clarified that he only meant to oppose one of them. Council Member Ken Boswell was absent.