The Field Review - Local

EDITORIAL: Cameron County Commissioners: $6k For Me, 5% For You (Maybe For You)

PLEASE NOTE: Nothing in this publishing or on this website should be taken as legal advice.

EDITORIAL: Cameron County Commissioners: $6k For Me, 5% For You (Maybe For You)

During an August 15, 2023 Cameron County Commissioners Court meeting a raise was given. The Commissioners Court rewarded themselves with $6,000 a year.

Yes, we know, there were opportunities to voice ones opinion in public comment at 9 a.m. during a weekday. Yes, we know, people could have sent emails or other correspondence related to the Commissioners Court.

We believe, making sound business decisions should not require public intervention on this topic.

The irony of the decision may be best explained in comment provided to KRGV. In an article by Stefan Rosales, published by KRGV and titled “Cameron County commissioners approve $6K pay raise for elected officials,” they obtained a statement from Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino Jr:

“It’s been quite a while since we’ve given increases, Cameron County unfortunately from an elected official standpoint is still among the lowest pay, so we’re trying to do something, we wanted to do something to address that.”

Statement documented by KRGV and published August 15, 2023, in an article by Stefan Rosales – Cameron County commissioners approve $6K pay raise for elected officials,

Why would this be ironic? Because if one reads our publishing “Cameron County, Underpaid County Workers,” then they will see county employees underpaid for an extensive period of time. However, these employees will not receive a $6,000 pay raise.

Anything Less than $30,000 is to Low for County Government

Even if 5% was given on a $25,000 salary it would only be $1,250 extra. The new salary would be $26,250 a year. However, if this employee got a $6,000 pay bump it would be $31,000 a year. Now the employee has a livable wage – to a degree. We realize giving all employees a $6,000 pay raise is not likely.

The issue, as we see it, are jobs listed below $30,000 a year. We are in 2023. We believe the county should have a minimum salary of $30,000 for all jobs, and then look at which roles require more complexity and adjust the salary in a consistent manner.

New Law Puts Competition in County Law Enforcement Employment

This would mean the Cameron County Detention Officers would probably need to be paid around $40,000 a year. This would be inline with a new law passed this year.

Local Government Code 130.191 will be effective on September 1, 2023. It allows grants in certain situation for rural sheriff’s. Rural, per the legislature, is less than 300,000 population. Cameron County is not considered rural based upon population, but this creates competition in recruiting. Now, places like Willacy County, Brooks County, and other counties close to Cameron County that meet the definition of rural may have higher paying Sheriff’s Offices.

It looks like Cameron County had the Texas Legislatures speak for the people about livable wages. Yet, the Cameron County elected did not forecast these State decisions. Now, anything less than $40,000 a year for Cameron County Jailers is a failure to the citizens in the county.

Salaries Must Increase

Anything below $30,000 is to low for any county government worker in Cameron County. Texas has identified a grant program for rural sheriff’s. Now places that receive revenue, like Cameron County, have competition in their budget.

It has been a long time that county employees have been severely underpaid – in our opinion. Stating Cameron County elected officials are not receiving the same wages as the rest of the states elected is a slap in the face to the people of Cameron County. Not because this may be a true statement, because the decision was to bump the salary $6,000 a year and leave people employed under $30,000.

The backbone of the county deserves more and deserves livable wages. People do not need to go to Commissioner Court meetings and voice their disgust – it should be apparent. The polls are where change can be made, but it also takes the right representatives to lead the community.

Is Cameron County satisfied with the salary of county employees? Is this what Cameron County thought they voted for?

A Couple of Our Other Reads

You may be interested on our publishing showing four Cameron County Jail deaths since 2021.

Or you may find our publishing on the current campaign finance reports for Cameron County Sheriff, of interest.

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