Commissioners Right To Delay Pay Raises

Ohio County commissioners have been forced by situations beyond their control, such as higher costs for health insurance and employee pensions, to increase spending for the coming fiscal year.

But commissioners held the increase to less than 3 percent. That will not be popular among department heads and county employees who had sought pay raises for workers.

Commissioners and county Administrator Greg Stewart did the right thing, however. As they explained, they may consider pay raises or bonuses later this year – but only after they know how much money is carried over from the current budget at the end of June.

It is expected as much as $300,000 may be available for carryover into the new fiscal year – but commissioners are not certain of that yet. They also do not know what coming months may bring in the form of bad news about revenue for next year.

Making spending commitments without being certain future revenue will support them has gotten some communities and counties in fiscal trouble in our area. Ohio County commissioners were right to refuse to risk joining them.