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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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AND ACTION: Greenville County & Pay Increases (part ii)
Benj Buck
June 1, 2005

Hey, I want a pay raise too.  I bet you wouldn’t mind one either, especially if your position began to grow dramatically.  As badly as I want a raise, I’d be flabbergasted to receive a 30%, $20,000, jump with one swing of the bat.  Now don’t get me wrong, I would not complain nor would I reject such an offer, but I would quietly question my employer’s sanity.


This month Greenville County Councilmen will vote on pay increases for six elected officials.  A recent story on WYFF’s website said that the officials “are getting raises.”  The County Administrator, Joe Kernell says that’s yet to be determined.  Joe Kernell told SC Headlines, “This plan is just… part of the proposed budget.”  Kernell went on to say, “The County Council would have to approve the plan as part of the budget. It could be approved, modified or rejected.”


The proposed salary increases are part of an overall budget.  Two weeks ago this budget was handed over to the Council members and became accessible to the public.  The total package “provides the financial framework for the programs and services which Greenville County government will be undertaking over the next two years,” Kernell explains. 


Kernell believes that he proposed a budget that meets Greenville County’s growing “service demands,” and does so without burdening Greenville County tax payers. In a letter to SC Headlines, Kernell outlined why he is confident in the overall budget:

  • This budget requires no tax increases;
  • This budget provides for increased public safety personnel;
  • This budget provides for adequate General Fund balance to maintain AAA bond rating;
  • This budget provides adequate contingency reserves;
  • This budget provides sufficient maintenance and replacement funds to ensure capital facilities and equipment are properly maintained;
  • This budget maintains an adequate compensation and benefits package for our work force.

Perhaps Kernell’s overall budget is, as he calls it, “fiscally responsible.” Perhaps Kernell’s overall budget meets Greenville’s growing demands for resources and services.  Perhaps Kernell’s overall budget strengthens Greenville County.  However, I’m not seeing the 30% increase in work load, but then again I’m not in the offices.  Yet, if such an increase exists, maybe we should be working on a strategic, operational plan as opposed to a financial plan.

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