All across Hall County, there are people who take a break from their day jobs to take care of everything from property values to libraries to counting votes on Election Day.
They take care of these things part time, and while some meet just a few times a year, others meet a few times a week. Some are volunteers and some receive an amount per meeting or per month. Few may worry about what these board members are paid, but recently controversy over pay for the tax assessors board drew attention to the benefits and higher pay some received for their part-time careers.
So what do these part-time board members get for making sure these things run smoothly?
The five-member Planning Commission, which meets twice a month, makes $75 per meeting, for a total of $1,800 per year.
The Planning Commission hears all zoning requests and gathers facts to make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners, who ultimately decide on all zoning issues.Because they have to travel within the county and spend time listening to requests and complaints, Commissioner Bobby Banks said he believes they should make more money.
"They don’t get any fuel money, they don’t get any mileage, they’re definitely underpaid," Banks said.
Commissioner Steve Gailey said he felt planning board members have a "thankless job."
Banks said he "listens pretty soundly" to the advice he gets from Planning Commission members.
Bill Evans, who represents District 1 on the Planning Commission, said he would like more money to help cover the cost of gas, but is not too concerned about making money.
"I didn’t know it paid anything to start with," Evans said, who took the job thinking he would be volunteering.
He said the rest of the Planning Commission would appreciate more money as well and the five planning commission members have grown to work well as a group.
The Hall County Board of Commissioners, which has the ability to adjust pay, has considered increasing pay for members of the planning board because of the nature of their job.
Gailey and Banks said the board of commissioners has not yet set an amount to increase the planning board’s pay.
Other part-time boards are paid similarly to the planning board. The Board of Registrars meets monthly and both regular members receive $70 per meeting, and has an unpaid director.
Each member of the Board of Elections is paid $70 per meeting, but they only meet two times before an election. Elections is a three-member board with an unpaid director.
The Board of Commissioners recently voted to change the way the tax assessors board is paid. Each member of the tax assessors board, which will increase from three to five members in September to compensate for growth in the county, is currently paid $100 per meeting. There is no limit on the number of times the board can meet. The four regular members will begin receiving $400 per month and the chairman will receive $450 a month, regardless of how often they meet.
Tax assessor Terrell Gaines said he thought the new system of payment was fair, but would like the county commissioners to consider compensating tax assessors for time they spend in continuing education courses, which are often out of town.
The Jury Commission, made up of eight to 10 people, receives $100 a day for their periodic meetings.
And some boards make no money at all.
The Library Board and Parks and Leisure Board are made up of volunteers.