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Victoria County constables want higher pay

By Melissa Crowe
Aug. 5, 2014 at 5:42 p.m.


IF YOU GO

VICTORIA COUNTY BUDGET WORKSHOP

• WHERE: Victoria County Courthouse, 115 N. Bridge St.

• WHEN: Wednesday - Day 310 a.m., Gulf Bend10:30 a.m., Children's Discovery Museum11 a.m., Victoria Economic Development Corp.1:30 p.m., Mid-Coast Family Services2 p.m., Child Welfare Board2:30 p.m., Court Appointed Special Advocates3 p.m., Constables

Victoria County constables are demanding pay raises.

The county's four constables earn $39,140 annually, and Constable Richie Williams said that's not enough.

"With the job we do, we're not appreciated enough," Williams said. "We're not getting the credit that's due."

While certified peace officers, constables focus on truancy cases, serving as bailiffs for the justice courts and serving warrants.

Williams, the Precinct 1 constable, is requesting a salary of $60,000 while Precinct 2 Constable James Calaway is requesting a salary of $50,000, and Precinct 3 Constable Kenneth Easley Jr. is requesting $62,000.

During the second day of budget workshops Tuesday, county commissioners were surprised by the requests.

Commissioner Gary Burns joked that the Precinct 4 constable, who did not make a salary request, instead wanted a helicopter.

But Williams said it's no laughing matter. Asking for funding "is like pulling teeth."

Because of an extra pay period in 2015, County Judge Don Pozzi has said all employees and officials are receiving a 3.9 percent "built-in raise."

Constables will be paid $40,667 next year.

Williams said commissioners consider a constable's job to be part time.

"I haven't seen a less-than-40-hour week since I started," he said.

Pozzi noted the difference in constables' salary requests.

"I guess they didn't get together this year," he said.

Last year, constables requested pay raises and Tasers.

Every request from each department will be considered, Pozzi said.

"Anything I consider, I take to be serious," he said.

Williams said all elected officials "should be paid across-the-board the same."

The county judge's budgeted salary is $108,990. The sheriff's salary is at $86,470, and the four county commissioners salaries are $80,008.

Historically speaking, constables have received pay increases from $24,924 in 2012 and $38,000 in 2013.

"I was told by a commissioner - I'd rather not put his name out there - that all they care about is history," Williams said. "We've got a commissioner that's up there that has made the comment that we don't need constables."

Constables will present their cases for raises at 3 p.m. Wednesday in the courthouse, 115 N. Bridge St.

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