Commissioners pull plug on Schawe pay raise
By LPR Staff
After hearing pushback from the community, the Caldwell County Commissioners Court decided on Monday to walk back a proposed raise to $75,000 for the County Judge’s salary.
Though most of the panel had initially supported the move, believing that increasing the salary would encourage more candidates for office, they chose another course of action.
Commissioner Hoppy Haden said he was uncomfortable with the salary increase, as long as County Judge Ken Schawe continues to take a $25,200 stipend, as allowed by State law, for performing judicial duties connected to probate cases and magistration.
Schawe argued that he would continue to take the stipend, because he has spent time and money training for those duties, and he has been performing them. He offered instead to split the raise between the other elected officials, asserting that he “didn’t take this job for the money.”
The other three Commissioners were on board with Haden’s suggestion that they roll back the raise to the same 3 percent that other County employees and elected officials are slated to receive.
During budget talks throughout the summer, each of the Commissioners has stated that they will not accept the pay raises; they did approve the budget with the pay raises included.
In a related matter, they adopted a combined tax rate of $0.7753 per $100 of valuation.
In other business, the Commissioners approved several “housekeeping” matters, including the approval of bids on materials, the approval of the Commissioners Court meeting schedule and a County holiday calendar for 2018.
They also agreed to approach Green Group Holdings to try to bring representatives back to the table to negotiate a proposed Host Agreement. Those talks had long-since been stalled; the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality granted the permit for the landfill facility earlier this month.
The Caldwell County Commissioners Court routinely meets on the second and fourth Monday of each month at 9 a.m. in the Second Floor Courtroom of the Caldwell County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public and available for viewing at www.co.caldwell.tx.us.