Reformation of the Systems in Place for the Determination of County Employee’s Salaries, Benefits and Retirement Plans

“There is a serious need to bring attention to the low wages and lack of benefits and retirement that Bradley County pays its employees.  I have heard complaints from many different groups and organizations from these citizens.  The annual salary, price of living, pensions, and the process in which to receive pay raises for police officers, fire fighters and all emergency services needs to be reviewed and reformed.  These men and woman are the backbone of our society.  We have a public obligation in assuring these employees and their families can live comfortably and without fear since they do the same for us.  I have heard of many instances of the BCSO training new, effective officers just to lose them to the CPD due to pay differences.  This must be solved so that the county department can continue to be as effective and skilled as they are now for years to come.  Also, the Bradley County Schools employee’s salaries, such as teachers, has been an issue in this county for as long as I remember, and there is a necessity now more than ever for it to be solved.  I have always considered teaching to be one of the most exceedingly important and special professions one would pursue.  These are the people who devote their lives in giving our children the tools and methods to reach their dreams and accomplish their goals.  The commission has been wasting tax payer money on buying new properties that are not truly needed, such as the building formally known as the American Uniform property for a new STEM school, instead of enhancing, remodeling and upgrading the schools that are already established.  Our schools have been built with intention of expansion.  For instance, when Walker Valley High School was built, it was designed to be expanded hence the strange hallway set up and extra lawn spaces.  When I went there from 2008-2012, it was already extremely overcrowded, and our teachers were over worked.  There still has been no resolution to make this intention turn into a reality.  In saying that, the Lake Forest Middle School is being renovated which is exactly how I feel our money should be spent.  As commissioner, I would push for this to be the standard procedure in future school buildings and facilities.  I have always been under the impression that faculty is more important than the facility.  By being more conscious in the money we use for more classrooms, we would have more money to spend on the faculty and students.”

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