XENIA — Greene County officials are considering a salary study amid concerns about county employees leaving for better paying jobs, according to county administrator Brandon Huddleson.
“What we’re faced with is our neighboring communities, both private and public, are consistently offering higher wages for similar positions that we have in Greene County,” he said. “Unfortunately, some of our good employees are making the decision to change employment based on the financial aspects.”
Huddleson estimated that about one or two employees a month under the Greene County Board of Commissioners’ authority are leaving for more money. As of March 31, the board oversaw about 450 employees.
“… We’re not competitive financially,” Huddleson said. “There are other things that we offer. We have a great health care package that I’m sure that our employees are considering, but at the end of the day, what they make is what they make. Their bills are what their bills are.”
A salary study would determine average pay scales for positions equivalent to those offered by the county.
“We have to draw the information and then we’ll study it and we’ll look at it and see where do we fit?” Huddleson said.
Huddleson noted that the study wouldn’t “equate to immediate pay raises.”
“We have to do this responsibly,” he said. “We can’t just react to the competition and increase pay scales. … Should the economy contract again, then we’re faced with laying people off. I don’t want to make a decision that benefits our employees today, that hurts our employees later.”
Greene County Commissioner Tom Koogler advocated a cautious approach to salary changes.
“… Although [the economy is] growing … if all of a sudden we have a little bit of a hiccup and things start going the other way, all these municipalities and government agencies that are jacking these dollars up and paying these additional monies, are all the sudden saying, ‘Oh, God, now what do we do?’” he said Thursday at the board’s meeting. “… There’s a balance between making certain that you’re being fair with those employees but at the same time you’re being fair with the taxpayers.”