Burnet County employees — except for elected officials — will be given a cost-of-living adjustment of either 7 percent or 5 percent starting May 1. Law enforcement will see their salaries increase by 7 percent and all other employees by 5 percent, the Burnet County Commissioners Court voted at its regular meeting Tuesday, April 12.
“These salary modifications are necessary to attract and retain quality professional personnel,” said County Judge James Oakley at the meeting. “Several posted positions are not producing applications, and we are losing valued employees to higher-paying jobs within and outside the government sector.”
Currently, 20 positions at the jail have been open for more than six months. Several sheriff’s deputy positions are also open.
“Staffs from all departments are facing the combined effects of strong competition in the labor market, elevated housing costs, and increased retail prices across the commodity spectrum,” Oakley read from a written statement at the meeting.
Attrition funds, or money budgeted for positions not yet filled, will help fund the salary increases. The rest will come from line-item transfers from categories with extra money that has not been spent.
IN OTHER BUSINESS
Also at the meeting, Burnet County Attorney Eddie Arredondo was instructed to pursue criminal Class B misdemeanor charges against a Realtor selling lots in a “potential unauthorized subdivision” in Florence in both Lampasas and Burnet counties. The Realtor was notified in November 2021 that the developer for Burnet Central Appraisal District parcel #54145 at 1338 Williamson County Road 222 was not following county regulations.
The parcel contains eight lots ranging from 11 acres to 11.9 acres, which sold for $26,500 an acre. Purchasers have been asking the Burnet County Development Department for 911 addresses and permits for property that is not properly platted.
“Back in January, we reached out to the property owner, and he indicated he would hire an engineering firm and begin the process,” Development Department Director Herb Darling told the Commissioners Court. “Then, he just went ahead and sold the rest of the lots.”
An amendment to pay for the part-time clerk position was to be on the April 12 agenda. Instead, the agenda item was for a budget amendment to pay for a full-time magistrate until the end of the year.
“Upon further review, and getting into it a little deeper, the request was for a full-time magistrate,” Oakley told DailyTrib.com after the meeting. “The main thing that ended a vote today was a budget amendment to accommodate the salary.”
The amendment was for $12,000. A candidate for the position has been interviewed, said Magistrate Tamera Tinney, who also told the Commissioners Court she was having a hard time finding applicants for the part-time positions.