Smith County officials are in the midst of their budget process, and salaries represent a big part of spending.
The 784 full-time employees funded in the fiscal year 2014 budget were budgeted to receive about $32 million in salary and more than $12 million in benefits. Salary and benefits equal 51 percent of the county’s $86 million in budgeted expenditures for the year.
This is a breakdown of the top paid positions in county government.
First Assistant District Attorney April Sykes continues to be the highest paid Smith County employee. Her base salary for 2014 is $146,128. She also receives $4,560 in longevity pay.
County Court at Law judges Thomas Dunn, Randall Rogers and Floyd Getz are second on the pay scale. The elected judges each receive $139,000 and $2,500 for travel. Dunn and Getz receive $720 for longevity pay while Rogers receives $960.
The county receives $84,000 per county court at law judge, $252,000 total, from the state.
County Auditor Ann Wilson earns $120,905 and $480 longevity pay.
County Judge Joel Baker’s base salary is $82,400. He receives supplemental income from the state equaling $20,000 and $4,449 in supplemental income for longevity, travel and phone allowances.
Sheriff Larry Smith receives $83,303 and $60 for longevity.
County Commissioners Jeff Warr, Cary Nix, Terry Phillips and JoAnn Hampton all receive $57,246, $5,253 for travel and a $960 phone allowance. Mrs. Hampton receives $480 for longevity. Warr and Phillips receive $240 for longevity.
Some positions within the Smith County pay structure are tiered according to education, training and years of experience. For example, a sheriff's deputy with basic law enforcement education and training (Deputy I) receives $37,796 in their first year while a deputy with five or more years experience and advanced training (Deputy IV) receives $49,663.