County Won’t Kick In for Library Raises

WINNSBORO (May 13, 2016) – The Fairfield County Library won’t be getting any help from the County in funding a 2 percent cost of living increase for its employees as County Council Monday night voted down a proposal to kick in nearly $9,000 to the Library Commission’s budget.

The Library Commission, Councilman Billy Smith (District 7) pointed out, is an autonomous entity that has its own millage on county property tax bills. Council, he said, does not have the same oversight over the Library as it does over internal departments.

Council has discretion over how much to fund the Library, Interim County Administrator Milton Pope added, but how those funds are spent are entirely up to the Commission and its executive director.

“Other agencies – the Disabilities and Special Needs Board, the Council on Aging, things like that – they might come next time and ask the same thing if we set this precedent,” Smith said.

The Commission had requested an additional $8,948 from the County to help fund the cost of living increase. Pope brought the request to Council during their final budget work session on May 3. During the work session, Council asked Pope to ask the Commission if they could find a way to make the pay increase work with their existing budget.

Monday night, Pope reported that the Commission had told him that, “due to some internal expenses” their request stood.

Mary Lynn Kinley (District 6) put the motion on the floor to amend the budget to include the funding for the Commission, and Kamau Marcharia (District 4) offered the second. The motion failed 2-4, with Smith, Dan Ruff, Walter Larry Stewart and Marion Robinson voting against.