Christmas came early for those who work in the Camden County Courthouse. Recorder Donnie Snelling suggested and commissioners approved taking $194,400 out of the recorder’s discretionary fund and giving each county employee $500. That came on the heels of a commission decision to give the employees 2-percent raises in 2014.
The county’s 296 employees do a heck of a job. Keeping a county running is no small task. It had been years since anyone at the courthouse got a raise and it was time to reward the hard work the employees do. The commission did the right thing in that regard. Times are still tough, but we are coming out of the woods and the raises reflect that.
The so-called supplement ― for whatever reason the $500 boon was not called a bonus ― was not a bad idea, either. It is always positive to reward those who do the actual work, and Christmas is good timing.
We are assuming that the recorder and commissioners had determined that even though sales tax revenue is still suffering from the economic disruption of the past few years, this was a fiscally responsible move. The fact that the money was stashed in a discretionary fund means it is not coming off any particular budget line. That is important.
Given that the presiding commissioner already has an opponent for the August primary, and that the recorder is up for re-election, cynics might wonder about the timing of this largess after so many years of officials playing Scrooge at the courthouse. Those with an inclination to believe that elected officials often do things for political rather than practical reasons might question the purity of this move. It could be wondered if this was done more in the spirit of incumbency than for Christmas and because it was deserved.
We are glad the employees were rewarded. They deserve it. Whatever the motivation.