58% of 925 votes believe pay increases are a wise idea
By Andrew Harris
The question of last week was focused on a local law being debated in Allegany County’s legislature that would provide an average raise of about 15% to county department heads, directors, and deputies.
Legislators have debated the measure without resolution. Last week’s Committee of Whole and full board meetings ended with a decision to take another week before making the decision. Those elected to make these difficult decisions will meet again this week with hopes to put the measure to a vote.
The decision is far from simple. The age old debate about “white coller vs blue collar” pay looms as the county unionized workforce will get a raise around three percent. Legislators must consider that today, Allegany County has dozens of unfilled job openings. Major changes in the labor market since the pandemic have made a real impact. The county can’t afford to lose the trained workforce in place, and they can’t afford the wages that larger counties are paying. That happy medium in wages is a delicate balancing act for those elected to make the final decision.
Property tax hawks are a large part of the 42% who voted not to give pay raises. Allegany County is perhaps the highest taxed county in the universe on a ‘per capita’ basis. Inflation has increased the county expenses just like the average household. The concern that rising costs in Allegany County could lead to even higher taxes is a very valid fear.
No matter how you voted, or which vote you agree with, we all have a mutual enemy: Inflation.
Stay tuned for our reporting this week on the decisions made in the Allegany County Legislature on this subject.
Next week’s poll opens on Monday about noon. This week’s question will focus on renewable energy. Are solar panels and windmills the solution the energy crisis or do we need to rethink long term energy policies considering the recent oil and gas pricing crisis ?
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