TYLER — Former Smith County Commissioner JoAnn Fleming, now a spokesperson for Grassroots America, We The People took shots at the commissioners court Tuesday for 2 members taking 2-years worth of pay raises.
"We don't believe that was the right thing to do, they actually did it last budget year and nobody found out about it until the end of this budget year," Fleming said.
Smith County Commissioners Court spokesperson Adrienne Graham tells KETK, it's all part of a plan that was adopted seveal years ago.
Fleming says she realizes it was planned - but Grassroots has a problem with them accepting the increases after a budget year with layoffs and paycuts for fellow employees.
Judge Joel Baker now making $82,400 per year while the commissioners are making $52,246.
But Smith County tells KETK, several of the commissioners actually turned down their pay increases...that money will now go to a fund to help their fellow employees.
"A leader...never...ever...takes benefits that he can't give to his frontline workers," Fleming said.
Also, the Smith County Commissioners Court wants it to be made clear that being on the Commissioners Court is a *full time* job. We did note that some of the commissioners do have other jobs, and County Judge Joel Baker does sit on other boards.
Judge Baker also wanted to pass along for the 2 years in question, he's waived a total of $22,400 in salary and donated it to the Workforce Investment Fund.