Gilmer, TX — Two Upshur County commissioners cut their salaries Monday morning as the district attorney added about $10,000 to his payroll. Meanwhile, county residents might be getting nighttime meetings in 2013 and even sooner than that, the county’s courtrooms could have a new motto — “In God We Trust” — on their walls.
Commissioner Mike Spencer voluntarily cut his annual salary by $10,990 while Commissioner Cole Hefner cut his $9,990 Monday morning. Spencer cut his salary this past year, but this was the first time Hefner cut his salary. Commissioners James Crittenden and Lloyd Crabtree have not cut their salaries. Before Spencer and Hefner’s cuts, each commissioner made $40,990 annually.
“After nearly a year in office, I just didn’t feel the job justified the $41,000 salary, and that has been with a rough year,” Hefner said. “Hopefully, we’ll get everybody down there eventually.”
Meanwhile, Treasurer Myra Harris expressed a concern that District Attorney Billy Byrd had set his payroll at about $10,000 more than he was budgeted. Spencer and Crittenden said Byrd had told them he would move the additional money from his discretionary funds to his payroll account about the first of the year. Harris said if commissioners approved the payroll, they would be setting a precedent for other departments to follow.
Crabtree said he was concerned Byrd would not move the money, and noted commissioners had just finished their budget — cutting Byrd’s as well as most other department budgets.
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