Chatham County commissioners approve 44 percent pay increase - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Chatham Co. commissioners approve pay increase

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CHATHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

Chatham County commissioners voted 7 to 2 to give themselves a 44 percent pay raise.

The nine-person commission voted Friday morning to increase each commissioner's base salary to $25,000. Chairman Pete Liakikis will receive a 15 percent raise for a base salary at $57,000.

Commissioners say the increase is necessary to keep their salaries competitive with those of other county commissions in the state with a similar population size. The raise was approved only for commissioners and not for county employees.

The raise is based on a study the county paid nearly $135,000 for in 2007 that recommended a pay hike for county employees, but it was never approved.

But some residents aren't too happy with the hike.

"It doesn't have any reflection on the job you have done this is unnecessary in these economic times we are in. When you ran for election you knew what the salaries were," said a resident.

Commissioners say they need an increase because they too have been hit hard by the economy, and haven't had a raise since 2001.

"When I'm here, I'm not making money. When these people are here they're not making money at their jobs. The raise that we have voted in is very modest, and we are not the highest paid county commissioners in the state. It's only fair to pay people what they're worth," said Commissioner Tabatha Odell.

The pay increase is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

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