Hamilton County Commission quietly asks for authority to set its own pay scale

The Hamilton County Commission
photo The Hamilton County Commission

Hamilton County commissioners want the authority to set their own pay scale, and they are trying to get it very quietly.

The request isn't anything too out of the ordinary. County commissioners in the state's 94 other counties vote on their own pay. But an open-government group calls Hamilton County's method "a very odd and suspicious way to do it."

Eight of the nine commissioners privately signed a letter sent to the local state delegation last week asking legislators to remove 15-year-old language in state law that set Hamilton County commissioner salaries and tied potential raises to the county mayor's pay.

Acting on the commission's request, state delegates drafted bills -- Senate Bill 707 and House Bill 717 -- with two cryptic lines that would grant that power.