CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper wants to give each of the county's elected officials $51,500 for discretionary raises.
Carper expects to make the proposed raises part of the county's 2013-14 budget.
Kanawha County commissioners expect to approve the county's $51 million budget later this month. A discussion of the budget and proposed raises is scheduled for a regular Kanawha County Commission meeting today.
County commissioners voted for a $1,000 across-the-board pay raise for all county employees last year, following years of stagnant salaries.
Despite a tight budget, Carper said he wanted to give the county's elected officials money to pass out merit raises this year.
"It's just a proposal from me at this point," he said. "I may not get a second on it."
Some elected officials have been asking for extra money for merit raises for years. Carper said the elected officials are autonomous and can spend their salary budgets any way they want to, but setting money aside specifically for discretionary raises sends a message that the county values its workers.
"There are people here who deserve to be recognized for what they do," Carper said. The discretionary money would give elected officials the ability to give extra raises to outstanding workers and help out some of the county's lowest-paid employees.