GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Pitt County commissioners approved more than $346,000 in holiday and comp pay owed to deputies and detention center employees on Monday night.
After meeting behind closed doors with Sheriff Neil Elks, commissioners unanimously gave the thumbs up to use money from lapse salaries for vacant positions.
Immediately after, commissioner Jimmy Garris made a motion to request the sheriff not allow any employees to accrue more than 60 hours in banked leave or holiday pay and to submit a quarterly report to commissioners on the topic.
“I’m not trying to micromanage the sheriff’s office,” Garris said. “I just think we need to know exactly what is going on on an ongoing basis because i don’t want us to come up with another $350,000 liability.”
All commissioners approved with the exception of chairman Glen Webb.
It’s only a recommendation and not a requirement since the sheriff is independently elected.
Commissioners also approved next fiscal year’s budget in a 6 to 3 vote.
Chairman Webb voted against the budget saying it didn’t address the low salaries of deputies and detention center employees.
“I’m glad we are going to pay the holidays,” Webb said. “But you have to work it to get it so it doesn’t really raise you up if you’re off those days because there’s a lot of positions that don’t work those days.”
Sheriff Elks declined to talk after the meeting.
The holiday and comp pay will be distributed before July 1, the start of the 2016 fiscal year..
Pitt County Commissioners will meet Monday night to discuss next fiscal year’s budget. This comes after they tabled discussions last week after dozens raised concerns over funding for the Sheriff’s Office and the school system.
As WNCT previously reported, Sheriff Neil Elks requested more than $346,000 dollars in holiday and comp pay for his deputies and detention center employees.
Several people showed up demanding those workers receive the payments.
Almost all of the commissioners made it clear they agree. But some commissioners think it’s best to wait for the county to receive its fund balance towards the end of the summer. They anticipate having leftover money, which many say should fund the payments to deputies and detention center employees.
“They live in our community, they buy groceries in our grocery stores, they go to our churches, they serve us. And we owe it to them,” Commissioner Tom Coulson said.
Monday night’s meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Pitt County Office Complex.
If they don’t pass a budget Monday, commissioners will need to schedule a special meeting to pass it before the end of the month.