24 March 2019

[MB McCart] - Sunday Edition, 3/24/19: Sheriff's Overtime $ Out of Control: Taking a Deeper look at Covington's Payroll; a Letter to the Editor

[State of GA] 
[Newton Co]

Happy Sunday, beautiful people, and we sure hope it's lovely out there. What glorious weather we've been fortunate to have this weekend & it looks like all the young people from Eastside had a great prom. No snafus, traffic woes or other issues, either. Apparently, both Alcovy & Newton will be holding their proms on the same day - April 13th. So, remember, Citizens - 4/13/19 - Prom - Alcovy & Newton will both be holding theirs. I'm sure it'll be just as smooth...

NCSO Overtime Off The Chain

As this publication & others have written about numerous times over the last few years, it appears that we have a major spending issue with the Newton County Sheriff's Office - and no,  I'm not talking about the hundreds of thousands of dollars that department is paying to William Thomas "Tommy" Craig, Esq., though that's still naturally a major concern. No, this pertains to overtime pay.

For whatever reason - and theories abound - Sheriff Brown can't seem to hire near enough deputies & bailiffs, and, in fact, the NCSO is woefully understaffed even though their pay IS comparable to most of the counties around Newton. Regardless of the reason (lack of morale is the biggest based on my sources), this office is - excuse my french - just pissing away tax dollars at an alarming rate.

From a communique from a source: 


"In FY 2019, 81 deputy sheriffs now employed are predicted to earn $45,346 ($21.80/hr) with overtime of $7,614. The  average  FY 2019 salary will be about $4,371 (10.7%) higher than in FY 2018.    Note that overtime in FY 2019 will average almost  $2,600 more per person than in FY 2018, which could mean the Sheriff will spend about $2 million in overtime this year, compared to $1.5 million in FY 2018. 
Detention officers (57) averaged making $35,054 in FY 2018 with an additional $5,088 earned in overtime. The 49 detention officers employed in FY 2019 are expected to earn $39,054, or $4,014 (11.5%) more than in FY 2018.  Overtime pay per detention officer could total $7,072 based on what was paid out in the first half of the fiscal year. That will be about $2,000 per officer more than last year.  Detention officers now average being paid about $18.78 per hour." 


So, yet again, a major problem/issue with the NCSO. We've been seeing this for years now; nothing ever gets done. Though the Sheriff is the most powerful Constitutional office in our political subdivision, the county BOC does have the ability & the power to make some much needed changes. But will they? No, of course not. They never do. It looks like the top of the flow chart - The People - will have to remedy the situation at the ballot box next fall.

DEVELOPING...


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City of Covington's High $$$ Payroll

Friends, this is one I'm just getting my hands into, but "Whoa Nelly," workin' for the C-O-V!  Good work if you can get it...

I will be doing a full report later with exact numbers for the mid-level & upper echelon salaries (no employee names will be published) but in the meantime I'd like to just look at some of the different pay grades the home city has.

All the lower pay grades seem to be very prudent. I mean, these are the folks actually doing the work - custodians, maintenance, sanitation, road workers, gas line workers, drivers, customer service reps, etc. These folks, depending on what grade they're on usually start anywhere from $12-15 an hour. No problems there.

The problem becomes apparent the higher up the pyramid you go, and that's why I will be getting the salary information on every position in Covington soon (again - no names will be shared). Starting with around pay grade 15 & up, some of these positions seems to be costing the taxpayers too much. Not all, but some. The main concern I have is the wide range of salary available & whether or not things are being done in a proper & equitable manner. Case in point - Covington Pay Grade 16. The entry-level salary is $52,686.40, but it goes all the way up to right at $80K. The higher the pay grade, the wider the range of potential salary.

Another issue I have, and, honestly, something that you could maybe say is sticking in my craw, is the fact that we start off police officers at around $35K, less for our firefighters, and as previously mentioned, the lower-grade workers even less. So, the folks that keep us safe & the ones actually doing the heavy lifting are basically making peanuts while we have a seemingly bloated multi-million dollar payroll with possibly way too many chiefs vs. number of indians. Frankly, I think it's a problem, and I'm going to look into it. 


Letter to The Editor

*in response to the ongoing NCRP situation. From Mr. Fred Wheeler 


I don't understand why anyone should be miffed at you for simply reporting what happened. Also why someone should be upset because the county GOP followed the rules.
If these folks had been around a few years back when the leadership DID NOT follow the rules, they would understand why the current body of the party is so careful to follow the rules. The previous leadership violated the local GOP rules as written and the GOP standing rules and state call, which allowed a small minority to maintain control and literally exclude new people from the party.They did not care about growing the party. 
I have been involved in GOP politics (mainly in DeKalb) for over 50 years. I had seen nothing like how they ran the party in Newton County before.
In DeKalb, we would have knock down drag fights often. But, for the most part, we remained friends. And, no one ever tried to exclude anyone from the party.
The main thing to remember is, if you want to influence the party and/or county politics, you have to recruit, organize and instruct your people BEFORE the convention.
It always has been allowed to write names of people not attending the precinct caucus as delegates to the convention. But, in DeKalb, often, we would have more people than positions. so you had to decide who was going to fill these positions. Sometimes it got quite contentious e.g. Reagan v Ford or Bush vs Robertson.As, said before, my own wife cut me out in 1980.
In summary, do your organizing before the precinct caucuses. Show up with overwhelming numbers and be familiar with the rules. Reagan's campaign manager told me one time, "Conventions are easy. All you have to do is know how to count."

- Fred Wheeler

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Thanks for reading. Until next time.

- MB McCart 



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