"Bear" Halbert

Floyd County Jailer Stuart “Bear” Halbert asks the Floyd County Fiscal Court during a special meeting last week for a raise for supervisors who the fiscal court approved years ago.

Last week, the fiscal court discussed the need to ensure that some employees receive pay raises that the fiscal court approved under its prior administration three years ago. 

On June 28, 2016, the Floyd County Fiscal Court approved a new administrative code that provided pay raises to some county employees, but some employees at the Floyd County Detention Center did not receive that increase in pay, county officials reported during a special meeting on Aug. 28.

“When they changed the administrative code back several years ago, we had employees such as your sergeants, lieutenants and captains that was in a certain price range of the minimum of their hourly wage,” Jailer Stuart “Bear” Halbert told the fiscal court. “Well, we never did get that adjusted.” 

The administrative code adopted in 2016 created a tiered pay rate system for the county jail, road department, solid waste department and mapping staff, allowing employees who have more certifications, qualifications and/or responsibilities to earn more than employees who don’t.

In the previous system, employees in some departments start at the same rate of pay, regardless of their qualifications, officials said at the time. 

The new code outlined six different pay grades for jail employees that range from $9.75 per hour to $17.75 per hour for the most experienced supervisor. 

The code also outlined six pay grades for road department workers, starting at a minimum of $8 per hour for a newly-hired general laborer and maxing out at $17.99 per hour for heavy equipment operators and mechanics. 

Pay rates for solid waste and mapping staff employees range from $12 to $15.50 per hour in the new code.

Halbert told the fiscal court last week that he has a lieutenant who is “second in charge” at the jail who makes the same wage as newly-hired full time employee. He said he just needs “a separation” in wages between supervisors and other employees. 

“As you can see on the numbers ... I think it totaled $13,000 in total over a year’s period. The money has been budgeted,” Halbert said. “I’m not asking the fiscal court for that. We actually had budgeted the money back when we done this. The budget has adhered to this.”

He also said, “All I’m asking the fiscal court is to go ahead with what we intended to do. I know it’s not your all’s fault, or your all’s responsibility, or whatever. I’m trying to get that, you know, the implementation, to put the people that are in charge making a little bit more than the people that are down because of the responsibility that they’ve got.”

County Attorney Keith Bartley said the county experienced the same issues years ago in the road department. He referenced Magistrate George Ousley, who worked in the road department years ago. Bartley said back then, newly-hired employees were earning the same as road crew leaders in some cases. 

When Halbert emphasized, again, that the funding for the pay increases are already budgeted at the jail.

“The money is there if the fiscal court transfers the money there,” Treasurer David Layne told him.

Judge-Executive Robbie Williams reported that other changes in the administrative code were complete after the they were approved in 2016. 

 “ ... But when the administrative code was agreed upon, at that time, some of the other folks, their pay was adjusted,” he said. “It was eventually going to come to the jail, but there was a change in administration. It didn’t take place.”

The fiscal court did not vote on the matter since the topic was not on the agenda of the special meeting. 

Williams said it would be approved during the fiscal court’s next meeting. 

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