MOUNT VERNON, Ind. (WEHT) – A lengthy process to discuss and approve the 2024 budget for Posey County continues. Among the main talking points: proposed pay increases for county officials and employees. In a proposed full county budget of just over $29 million, many county officials and employees will see a raise, but Council President Heather Allyn says not all raises could be equal.

“People have seen unprecedented raises in that budget, and yet people are still perhaps not happy with what that number happens to be,” explains Allyn.

One explanation for differing raises is the pay discrepancy between some department heads and their employees. For example, some emergency management employees earn considerably more than their director, according to discussions during the October 11 budget meeting.

“He was $7,000 less than his employees,” explains Councilman David Dausman. “Because of the scheduled overtime.”

Kristen Lowry with the Posey County Purdue Extension says she understands the difficulty the council has in making this budget. She adds that not all raises would be fair, but says she would like to see adjustments made before the budget is finalized

“It doesn’t make sense to me how some can be in this certain category and they get a minute increase, and others who, according to this salary study, are getting a significant increase,” says Lowry.

The 2024 general budget increase leaves a hole of more than $1.5 million. To help fill the void, council is also moving forward on increasing both emergency services and public safety taxes by 0.1% each.

“It’s never a super positive thing to increase taxes,” says Councilman Tom Schneider. “It’s been an unprecedented time in providing pay increase and restructure in that environment, and this was a necessary, necessary move.”

Council members say adjustments will likely be made before the budget is finalized in December. A special meeting will be held in November to further discuss any possible adjustments, but a date was not given at the time of the October 11 meeting.