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BOC Gives County Manager A 22 Percent Pay Hike

Forsyth County Tea Party Founder Steve Voshall calls a $28,000 pay raise "unwarranted" and "ridiculous."

Amid record unemployment and the nation's worst recession in decades, Forsyth County Commissioners handed County Manager Doug Derrer a hefty $28,000 a year pay raise at Tuesday's work session.

Derrer's annual salary will now increase from $130,000 to $158,757 a year. He will also have an auto allowance of $7,211 annually.

Derrer's contract requires the county to conduct an annual wage and salary review. Human Resources conducted that review this year and included Cobb, Cherokee, Gwinnett, Hall and Henry counties as well as the cities of Gainesville, Milton, Roswell and Smyrna. 

During Tuesday's work session, Chairman Brian Tam pointed out that Derrer voluntarily decided to forgo a salary increase last year based on certain economic conditions.

"It's worth pointing out that this is the most stability we've had in this position since 2004," Tam said.

Forsyth County has had five county managers in the past seven years. 

The decision was unanimous and the issue is likely to appear on the Consent Agenda at the next regular meeting of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners.

District 4 Commissioner Patrick Bell said he is very pleased with the service Derrer has provided.

But Forsyth County Tea Party founder Steve Voshall said he is opposed to a 22 percent pay hike in these tough economic times.

"The County Commissioners apparently don’t realize that we are in a recession and that this is not their money. Many people are just happy to have a job with benefits, but this kind of increase is unwarranted.

"If Doug has done a nice job then a five percent increase in a terrible recession is reasonable, but a 22 percent increase plus the car allowance and benefits is ridiculous. Our elected officials should be better stewards of the citizens tax dollars," said Voshall.

The decision comes less than a week after commissioners voted to reject the Purchasing Department's recommendation to accept SunTrust's offer to provide banking services for the county and instead contract with United Community Bank ().

Forsyth County Purchasing Director Donna Kukarola said contracting with SunTrust would have saved county taxpayers between $30,000 and $50,000 a year.

Steve Phillps April 16, 2011 at 02:37 AM
Here we go again. The county commissioners spending tax dollars unfairly. I am not against the County Manger receiving a pay raise, since he passed on one last year; but $28,000 NO WAY. With the economic conditions facing everyone today a 3% to 5% raise would be fair. I think its time the County Commissioners to start looking around and talking to the common man or woman and not only acting on behalf of the rich and famous.
Stephanie April 16, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Nothing new...all levels of government are bad stewards of OUR money. What about our firefighters and police? They are getting pay cuts, losing their jobs, and putting their lives on the line. My husband has 'forgone' a pay raise for 3 years, but we're blessed to be employed. Will he get a 28% increase and a car allowance next year? Come on, he does a great job! If they can give a simple job a 28% increase in pay and forgo the losest bank contract, we are obviously being over taxed and they have money to burn! My family is forgoing, scrimping, and couponing to make ends meet. Why aren't they? I think the bureaucrats need reminded who they are working for and that their customers are NOT happy!
Bill April 16, 2011 at 08:45 PM
Thank you for reading CummingPatch, Stephanie. I have to agree with you. Too many of our dedicated police, firefighters and EMTs are hurting. Many of us are right there with you, clipping coupons, wondering how we're going to buy gas for the car and put a little food on the table. The best way to make your voice heard is to attend the next county commission meeting on Thursday and speak up.

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