Comanche County Excise Board refuses raises for elected officials - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

Comanche County Excise Board refuses raises for elected officials

Lawton_The Comanche County budget is official, but some aren't happy with it.  There has been an ongoing dispute between county commissioners and the excise board regarding salary increases for elected officials.  Commissioners asked for a $3,000 raise.  The excise board told them no Tuesday morning as the board stood its ground. 

During the meeting, County Treasurer Barbara Burk said she believes the request is fair.  "I just wish ya'll would reconsider," she said.  County Assessor Charlotte Hamilton agreed.  "I just think it's only fair that we get compensated for the work we do." 

One-by-one, elected officials aired their concerns and opinions.  County Clerk Robert Morales wondered if the board's decision was individually based, or applied to all elected officials.  "[I] just ask you to reconsider whether you disagree with one elected official or all of us.  You know?  Just please keep an open mind on that," he said.  Each concerned official requested that the board reconsider.  "I know you gentlemen are honorable men.  I just ask that you really think about it please," said Sheriff Kenny Stradley.  Stradley says he isn't worried about getting a raise for himself.  "I just want my people to get a raise," he said. 

Commissioner Ron Kirby played excise board member J.P. Richard's very own words from last year back to him.  On the recording, Kirby quoted Richard as saying:  "'We will take a look at the elected officials next year, and if the budget permits we will consider it strongly.'  Those were your words, I can find it on here," Kirby said. 

While Richard agreed that he had, in fact, said the board would strongly reconsider the pay increase, it still was not enough to convince them.  "I don't intend at this moment to change that position," said board member, A.C. Bennet.  "I am not in favor of a pay increase for elected officials," said Richard.  Bennet says that since 2005, elected officials have received a 21% increase in their salaries, which is why she says she does not support the raise - and, Richard agreed. 

Commissioners now have $114,000 remaining in the budget, and at the meeting on Monday, August, 31, the board will decide where the money will be allocated.  Aside from the proposed, and denied, raises for elected officials, the remainder of the budget was approved.  Comanche County will now switch to a longevity pay scale, and the Sheriff's Department will finally get a jump on raises for deputies.

Count on 7News to tell you where the remainder of the budget will be assigned.

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