TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - It’s not uncommon to go to your boss and make a case for why you deserve a raise; however, when you work for the public, it gets a little more complicated.
Smith County treasurer Kelli White took her concerns straight to the public. She said she’s being paid less for doing the same amount of work -- or more -- than other county treasurers of similar size.
“The grievance hearing process is, at the end of the day, asking the citizens to make the decision,” White explained.
White has served Smith County for 19 years. She’s now taking her concerns to the people who elected her.
“I was a bit surprised when I went into the budget hearing and it was much lower than what the tax collector and the sheriff received,” White said. “I asked for an increase last year.
“Even with the $5,000 that has gone through court, I am still in the 20-percent range behind county treasurers with similar duties.”
White proposed a $23,000 raise in pay. She told a committee of former grand jurors that she does as much work, if not more, than other counties of similar size.
“The fleet manager was hired for the first time, and it was more than any other elected officials," said White. “And I’ve been here 14 years and I thought that was more than enough reason to file grievance.”
The county judge responded during Wednesday’s hearing, explaining the reason behind his proposed budget.
“I can’t do that and look at everyone and say I gave you 1.5 increase, but I gave the treasurer 31 percent raise," said Nathaniel Moran, Smith County judge. I know Kelli is upset about the fleet manager, but we know what we need to pay to keep good individuals, otherwise there is no reason to have that position.
“I really tried to do my best for all elected officials."
The decision was voted 6 to 3 in favor of White. However, a final decision will be made by county commissioners during the next commissioners court meeting.
White said if the commissioners do not accept the recommendation during next week’s meeting, she will bring the topic up during the next budget proposal.