Bigger paychecks on the way for 2 Augusta city employees

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News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A couple of city officials will soon have more cash in their pockets.

Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree and Solicitor General Kelly McIntyre are both getting raises.

"We asked coming into our job based on our job responsibilities that our salaries be reviewed," Roundtree said.

Commissioners voted 6 to 4 to increase their salaries. Former Sheriff Ronnie Strength actually signed off on the new sheriff's salary.

"Why do we have one of the largest sheriff departments in the state of Georgia and we got the sheriff being paid the lowest? It doesn't make sense to me," said Commissioner Grady Smith. "I think he's come up and met the standard, and even Sheriff Strength recommended his salary be $125,000."

News 12 found a form that outgoing Strength signed that has Roundtree's salary a listed at over $126,000.

"Several might not agree with me, but I called and talked to a few guys. They're currently working in law enforcement and former law enforcement," Smith said.

"When you look at the previous sheriff, when Charlie Webster departed, Sheriff Strength got his salary that he went out with," said Commissioner Alvin Mason.

Documents show Webster left office making just over $92,000 and that's where Strength started from day one.

"The city charter allows that based on responsibility and it was within the budget," Roundtree said.

The salaries of state employees are determined by population and tenure, among other things. Commissioners will vote on anything higher than what the state allows.

"The clerk of court has come and asked for some additional supplements. We've got the probate judge who's asked for more. We know the mayor is paid the lowest in the state. This can be done by the state legislation rather than the commission," Mason said.

Roundtree will now make just over $126,000. The solicitor general will make just over $106,000.

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