Commissioners vote on possible raises for Shelby County mayor, s - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Commissioners vote on possible raises for Shelby County mayor, sheriff

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County commissioners spent well over an hour Monday afternoon debating whether to give Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham each a pay raise. County commissioners spent well over an hour Monday afternoon debating whether to give Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham each a pay raise.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Shelby County commissioners met Monday to discuss salaries.

County commissioners spent well over an hour Monday afternoon debating whether to give Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Shelby County Sheriff Bill Oldham each a pay raise.

Right now, Mayor Luttrell makes $142,500 per year. Commissioners discussed increasing that salary to an even $150,000 per year.

Commissioners also discussed raising Sheriff Oldham's yearly salary from $115,000 to more than $131,000.

Both salaries were cut 5 percent in 2010.

Some commissioners said they feel both men are underpaid, while others agreed that now is not the time to give them more money.

"I just really can't get into a big cryfest that someone might not be making $150,000 and the mayor's not asking for it, quite frankly," says Shelby County Commissioner Heidi Shafer.

"Governments now that prosper need talent that's innovative, meaning technology. You have to pay for technology, you have to pay to have the best," added Commissioner Melvin Burgess.

"If we're looking at pay commensurate to responsibilities, we're nowhere near," said Commissioner Steve Basar.

Commissioner Justin Ford continued the discussion by saying he wants Shelby County to remain competitive when it comes to elected officials' salaries.

Meanwhile, Commissioner Terry Roland says its "as low as you can get by raising property taxes and then giving raises."

The vote to give salary increases failed Monday 5 to 4.

Commissioners will take a third and final vote on the salary issue in two weeks.

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