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cbreaux@kentsmith.biz

The Holmes County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has set a salary of $105,000 for a county building official, at the request of the person in the position. 

The BOCC approved the salary–effective after a six-month probationary period–during a Nov. 28 meeting, which means the official is now also an official employee of the county. The current building official has been working on a contract job-by-job basis after the previous person in the position left. 

The salary is an increase from the previous contracted cost of $60,000. County Commissioner Clint Erickson, who voted against the $105,000 salary, took issue with the cost. 

“I looked at other counties and we’ve got a neighboring county that’s got twice as many parcels as we do. I don’t think they even pay nowhere near $105,000,” Erickson said. “That’s a whole lot of money.”

County Commissioner Brandon Newsom also took issue with the requested salary. Newsom said the building official has gradually requested more money and a truck after being hired and asked what would happen if the county goes into the red. 

Later in the discussion, Newsom said the county needs someone certified to do the job and that the position could be readvertised. The building official could leave after six months and request $110,000, Newsom said.

“Now he’s requesting $105,000, which is unheard of in Holmes County,” Newsom said. “We’re always preaching how we’re broke.”

County Attorney Nate Nolin said a building official is “needed badly,” which County Project Director David Corbin agreed with. Nolin also said the county is in “a growing phase.” 

Commission Chairman Jeff Good said the salary does not take away from other county services such as EMS or road work.

“I know that’s a large salary but to have a certified official here that can work however many days a week on call (is needed),” Good said. “I’m just concerned, with everything we’ve got going on, if we don’t have the best that we can, we might run into some problems down the road.”

County Commissioner Earl Stafford said the BOCC discussed the issue “until he was tired of it.”

“I want somebody that can do the job,” Stafford said. 

 

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