That question will now be taken up by compensation and audit committees, as recommended by the commission’s hand-picked Citizens Oversight Committee.
The two new five-person committees would each consist of the chairman; a district commissioner who would rotate yearly; another elected county official; and two citizens with expertise in the field in question.
“We need to find where the (compensation) market is now,” he said in May. “It’s changed considerably over the last couple years.”
And as we noted on this page at that time, there’s no question that market conditions have changed: They’ve gotten worse, with many Cobb residents hard-pressed to pay their property taxes (especially in the wake of the tax hike Lee’s board approved last year) and with many county residents out of work.
Moreover, many Cobb residents have figured out that the kind of salary studies that Lee and Hankerson want are typically used to justify higher salaries for government workers, who usually have better pay and benefits than the private sector to start with.
It’s true that Cobb has been operating under austerity budgets for the past several years, and that compensation for county workers has essentially been locked in place.
Well, guess what? That’s true as well for the private sector, which foots the bill for the public sector.
Members of the new committees created by the commission should keep that foremost in mind as they go about their business, and say “no” to any effort by Lee, Hankerson or others to foist the $350,000 salary study on them.