Pay raises cause stir between Bryan County commissioners

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BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- A mis-match in salaries of county employees is leading to a showdown between Bryan County commissioners.

"Overall I would think that this would create a little discontent," said District 1 commissioner Monty Montgomery.

Montgomery said he wasn't happy to learn that a District 3 road foreman and department "first deputy" was recently given a raise higher than his peers.

"You have first deputies for 25, 26, 27 years that are being paid less money than just one individual first deputy in one district," he said.

That's why he brought the issue up publicly at Monday's meeting, since he said the initial raise flew under the radar.

"There was no vote, there was no agenda item, there was no discussion, there was no even knowledge by at least one board member that that'd even been given," he said.

The employee is paid $2,852 a month - $140 more than his peers.

But District 3 commissioner Jay Perry that's because this position requires more responsibilities.

"I require my foreman to do his job, and get out and do the work of a road hand," he said.

He said District 3 has 100 more miles of road than the other two districts - but funding is still split evenly.

Which he said he explained when the board tried to make salaries even across the board a few months ago.

"The day that they took the vote I said 'no, my foreman is not making the same. So I'm not gonna sit here and vote to make them all the same when mine's not.'"

And he said the county has a precedent of paying some employees more than others.

"When we decided to pay all the sheriff deputies all the same that the other county hands were making, and then turned around and decided to pay them $200 more a month."

Montgomery said he would like to see all raises brought up before the board in the future.

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