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Cambria County pay raises draw controversy


By Maria Miller
CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. -- Some employees in Cambria County have told 6 News they're unhappy after hearing that 350 of their co-workers received hefty pay raises at the beginning of the new year.

On Jan. 1 Cambria County union employees received their previously negotiated pay increase, while non-union members received a flat 2 percent raise. For supervisors and managers who don't fall under either category and typically don't receive a year-to-year raise, they got their own surprise.

"What we we're trying to do, more than anything, was correct inverted pay scales," said President Commissioner Doug Lengenfelder. "That means that your boss is being paid less than the people that are working for the boss."

6 News found many of the raises were $1,000 to $5,000 a piece and went to a wide variety of positions, but primarily those within the courts. While the commissioners said the raises were not chosen on an individual basis, President Judge Timothy Creany admitted it's something he advocated for.

"Some line officers were making more than supervisors and there's little incentive to keep the good people who are supervising the cases in those positions," said Creany. "There's more responsibility and there's less pay. Doesn't make sense. "

When the raises are tallied, they total more than $260,000. 6 News wanted to know how a county that's already facing major budget issues, and a county that had to take out a loan to make it through 2013, can afford more than a quarter of a million dollars worth of pay increases.

"We have received some financial help with the judicial side," said Lengenfelder.

The help came through special funds Creany said were created years ago that generate money mostly through fines and assessments made from criminal cases.

"It's not coming out of taxes and it's not coming out of the general public's pockets," said Creany.

To be clear, the only raises the county is receiving help with are those positions on the judicial side. The others, Lengenfelder said, were all included in the budget and voted on in December.

 
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Edgar Snyder

Washington Times

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