Bay County Commission Not Ready to Approve Bonuses - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Bay County Commission Not Ready to Approve Bonuses

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Bay County employees could be seeing some extra cash in their pockets this year but not in the form of a pay raise. Commissioners are looking to reward their employees with a one-time compensation, but they're still a little hesitant to approve it.

The county has the funds to provide each county employee with a $1,000 bonus. It received an $8 Million BP settlement this year, but commissioners want to make sure they're not biting off more than they can chew.

"We're still glued to the thousand dollar commitment, but we also need to understand what's been built in some of the budgets and what hasn't been, and try and keep it as fair across the board as we possibly can," said Chairman George Gainer.

The board wants to make sure the money is distributed fairly as a one-time payment and not across the board pay raises. A pay raise could set a precedent, and the board would be responsible to continue the increase in the coming years and may not be able to afford it.

"When we have to cut, everyone had to tighten their belts and had to cut back, and now we got an opportunity to come back and say thank you and do a pay supplement. That's what we're trying to do and working towards."

The county's budget officer previously mentioned the one time bonuses would cost about $1.4 Million this year. Some constitutional officers already have the money built into their tentative budget since health insurance won't cost as much as originally thought.

Each constitutional officer would get $1,000 per employee to distribute as they would like.

Commissioners plan to further discuss the pay supplements when they meet next. They'll hold two public hearings to adopt the millage rate and final 2014 budget in September.