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Bonus blues

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The Pulaski County Quorum Court recently voted a 4 percent pay bonus for all county employees including themselves.

It's the fourth year running the court has given itself a pay raise and/or bonus, while many other public employees at the city and state level have gone without pay increases for a couple of years.

Justices of the peace make $11,106 a year and are entitled to free health insurance (an untaxed benefit) for attending two meetings a month, so a raise was worth only $444.

But some had second thoughts. JPs Phil Stowers, Shane Stacks and Paul Elliott all said they didn't want the one-time bonus.

JP Teresa Coney wrote to the payroll administrator, however: "I want my money."

JP Judy Green elaborated: "I would like to receive the COLA and any other bonus the County will reward us with. As I stated in the meeting last night 'if every JP works as hard in their district as I do, we are not receiving enough for what we do. I participate in everything my constituents request of me, which is a lot (day and night); and my district is very big land wise which requires me to use a lot of mileage and spend a lot of money on gas, not to mention wear and tear on my car. I'm not complaining, because I ran for this position with a knowledge of this; but it really irritates me when I hear JPs say that we are making too much money. Let those JPs refuse the little extra money, but don't take it from the rest of us. We voted on this issue last night, and it should not be voted on again thru e-mails.' "

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