By Joyce May
Killeen Daily Herald
GATESVILLE – Election workers will receive $1 an hour extra following action from the Coryell County Commissioners on Monday.
County Clerk Barbara Simpson made the request to increase the salary of election workers from $7 to $8 an hour.
"Elections are not the simple little process that they used to be," Simpson said.
A second request from Simpson to allow one of her staff members to receive six hours of overtime pay and to allow overtime for any other employee going over 40 hours during the busy election season was denied, however.
The county clerk said that she and another staff member spent six hours on Sept. 23, a Saturday, preparing ballots that were received Sept. 22 and required by law to be in the mail the next day.
County policy calls for comp time to be given, but the commissioners' court has the authority to allow overtime pay, County Auditor Ben Roberts said.
Simpson said that the staff member already has 36 hours of comp time accumulated. In addition, she said the employee is the only one under her trained in certain election procedures, so Simpson cannot spare for her to take time off during the busy election season.
Precinct 2 Commissioner Cliff Price said he saw Simpson's point of view, but was concerned about setting a precedent for allowing overtime pay.
"If we make one exception, how do we avoid making extra exception for every unusual situation that comes up?" Price asked.
In another item regarding pay, Constable Shawn Camp left the courtroom silently after commissioners rejected a grievance committee recommendation to increase his pay from $19,092.80 to $25,000.
Camp initially requested salary increases for constables during the budgeting process, but was denied.
The court also approved a request from Interim Tax Assessor-Collector Justin Carothers to participate in a Texas Department of Transportation program that will allow Coryell County citizens to complete their vehicle registration online beginning in January.
Carothers said vehicle owners will be able to log onto TexasOnline.com and pay their vehicle registration fees, and the will then mail out the tags.
"Most counties now are online. I think they started back in '01," he said. "We are just late getting to it."
Citizens will need a registration renewal notice from TxDOT in order to complete the process online.
"The good part about it, you can do it form anywhere, any time. You don't have to drive anywhere. It is convenience, another way to give our citizens convenience," Carothers said. "It is there, we just haven't been utilizing it."
In other action, the court:
n voted to bypass the 2008 off-system bridge program with TxDOT.
n proclaimed October as Watch Your Car month as part of an anti-auto theft awareness campaign.
n proclaimed October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
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