Board Says No AGAIN To Stone County Deputies

Stone County Sheriff's Deputies took their demand for a higher raise to the Stone County Supervisors again Monday morning. The deputies asked for a two dollar raise, instead they received a 25 cent raise.

"We considered everybody that worked for the county. We also considered the taxpayers of the county.  That probably doesn't help your feelings at all, it doesn't help your pocketbook either, says Duncan R. Hatten, president of the Stone County Board of Supervisors.

The board says the budget is set for the fiscal year, but that didn't stop officers from pleading their case.

"These people are going to start leaving and when they start leaving, we're going to be in a bind," said Deputy Chief Jimmy Green.

The starting pay for all Stone County deputies is $10.52 an hour. Leaders say that's not enough to keep officers from walking out.

"I lost one deputy that went to the neighboring county for just a six thousand dollar increase a year," says Chief Mike Farmer.

However, officers like Ben Carlisle say they aren't ready to turn in their badges just yet.

"I'm not ready to leave because I love my county, It's my home. It's just hard having to work two jobs just to make ends meet," Carlisle said.

Now leaders fear deputies will be forced to make a choice.

"They want to stay here but the reality of the situation is sooner or later economics is going to overcome want to," Green said.

Most of the Stone County Board of Supervisors are leaving office this year. However they encouraged the department to keep pushing for the increase. Deputies plan to meet with the new board in January 2008.