Pulaski County Council’s Authority to Cut Election Board’s Pay Disputed

A 10-percent pay cut for all of Pulaski County’s board and commission members drew some concerns during Thursday’s election board meeting. During last fall’s budgeting process, the county council voted to cut their own pay, that of the county commissioners, and that of all other county board members in the 2020 budget. But Clerk JoLynn Behny said the council doesn’t have that authority, when it comes to the election board.

“With the county in the financial shape that it’s in, do we want to approach the commissioners and the council and ask them to reinstate the full pay since it’s a big election this year, or do we just eat the difference this year and deal with it next year?” Behny asked the rest of the election board.

Election Board Chair Patty Sullivan said she was fine with the reduced pay level, while Board Member Jessye Gilley thought it was best to wait until the next round of budget discussions to bring the issue to the council’s attention. “With the General Election coming up, we’ll be able to say, ‘These are the number of hours we actually had to put in. This is what it equates to per hour.’ Then we have more of a justification,” Gilley said.

Behny felt that the other two members deserve the full amount due to the size of this year’s election but thought the council and commissioners may be more receptive to such a request during budget time.