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Here’s how much Hall commissioners raised their pay
The Hall County Board of Commissioners will meet Thursday to discuss a moratorium on hookah lounges and cost sharing for Lake Lanier Olympic park. - photo by Megan Reed

The Hall County Board of Commissioners voted 4-1 to give themselves a raise that will increase each commissioner’s annual compensation by more than $10,000.

Three residents spoke against the raise at the board’s meeting Thursday, Oct. 14, saying that commissioners’ jobs were part-time and should be considered a public service.

“This is a part-time job that each of you chose,” Brian Kelley said. “You put your names on the ballot, went through the qualifying process, you got elected. … You’ve got a good part-time salary.”

Commissioner Shelly Echols voted against the proposal.

Commissioners currently receive a base salary that ranges from $6,887 to $9,260 depending on whether or not they have completed Association County Commissioners of Georgia certifications and how long each has been on the board. But commissioners can also use a $173 per diem up to 12 times per month for meetings related to county business.

The highest annual compensation a commissioner can currently earn is about $34,000.

The new salaries would start at $45,000 for each district commissioner and $50,000 for the chairman, beginning on Jan. 1, 2023. The new structure does not include per diem payments and will include cost of living adjustments and other benefits. 

It is expected to cost the county about $65,842 more annually. 

Echols moved to amend the resolution to set district commissioners’ salaries at $32,000 and the chairman’s salary at $45,000. Echols had previously called the size of the pay increase “ridiculous,” because the job is a public service. 

Echols did not receive a second to put the motion to a vote, and the salary increase passed. 

Chairman Richard Higgins said the last time the board adjusted salaries was in 2007, and the increase would keep their compensation consistent with inflation. The county has grown significantly since then, Higgins said, and the increase would bring them in line with Forsyth and Gwinnett counties.

“The salary increase is consistent with the growing demands of the position and maintains an appropriate level of compensation to attract future elected officials,” he said. 

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