I gather I stirred up a hornets’ nest today with my Facebook post about Constables receiving $24k a year in Upshur County.
Granted, I realize some folks view this position as part-time, while others say it’s full-time. I know one Constable that definitely does more than any “part-time” worker I’ve ever seen. Yes, I do understand this particular Constable’s precinct is more heavily populated than others. My point? He sure doesn’t appear to be “part-time” to me.
Yes, I understand with the $24,992 the Constables are paid includes full medical, they pay $168 for their spouse and other family members medical, and full retirement. Personally, we have County, not in Upshur, insurance and we pay closer to $500 a month to cover me alone. From my understanding, all Upshur County employees pay this rate.
Did you know our deputies are being paid $14 an hour? Shocking, huh?
Upshur County has been in the red for over a decade, with only coming into the black the last three years. A few years ago, the Commissioners Court learned the County was $1 million dollars short for the year. The Commissioners lowered their pay by $11,000 each, plus benefits. They also cut retirement from 2% match to a 1% match. That stung a lot of folks, but honestly, where was the money supposed to come from?
With the outlandish costs of Obamacare, the Commissioners and the Judge have diligently sought to find some form of pay raise for all county workers. Guys, I’m not kidding. Just about every time I speak to Commissioner Spencer, Commissioner Berka, Judge Fowler, or Commissioner Gentry, they mention pay increases for county employees. It’s a true concern to them.
I think it’s pretty obvious to see that it will take some time to iron out the issues. Being in the red for over a decade has consequences. Just as in the meeting with Congressman Ratcliffe, earlier this morning, we had the train wreck Obama for 8 years, and it’s going to take us some time, though not popular to hear, to get us straight.
Upshur’s south end does have an influx of folks moving in. However, the County as a whole is not financially well off as say, Gregg. We have no industry out here other than Rob Roy to offset taxes. I understand we have some “powers that be” who do not want industry in Upshur. That’s sad. We have to have some place to work around here available other than just the county and the schools. (No disrespect meant to the other businesses in the County.)
On one side we have many lower income residents with no industry to offset the taxes. Add the out of control appraisals being pushed, and the County newly in the black, what does a County do?
One thing for sure is we DO NOT need an inexperienced individual in our Commissioners Court. We need to stop bashing of our Commissioners regarding roads. There is a Road and Bridge Department. There is only so much money. Go to Commissioners Court, talk to your Commissioners, review the Budget, understand what they have before them — first.
It’s not hard to talk to the Commissioners. They truly are accessible.
From what I’m told, we cannot raise the sales tax. The County can only raise property taxes. Who wants to do that?
I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve heard countless stories from folks, from residential to commercial, who have been in the Appraisal Office combating their property tax raise. Out here, where we are, we have some folks down the road that paid almost $7K an acre. $7k acre. In this area, that’s flat out insane. We live in an area that the school is one building K-12.
The pay for our law enforcement is abominable. Seems to me, we are all in this together. Maybe we should be pushing for more industry to offset the taxes. Get some money in here so we don’t keep losing our men and women in law enforcement to higher paying Counties.
Obviously, this is my opinion. My heartfelt intent was not to upset anyone. I wish to clarify — from ME to YOU — I am not speaking about anyone personally. I am not suggesting our property taxes be raised. I am not slamming law enforcement. I am not slamming our Commissioners or the Judge. I am not slamming Road and Bridge. No one.