Ellis Constable Terry Nay, Precinct 2 filed official notice this week requesting salary grievance hearings before the Ellis County Salary Grievance Committee.
This committee is established to hear a grievance of any and all Ellis County Elected Official’s who disagree with their proposed salary and/or benefits.
Constable Nay has served Ellis County Precinct 2 for almost 18 years and he states: “This is a matter of salary fairness, not because I seek a raise.”
Nay further explained that many of the county-wide elected officials are paid the same salary, except for the county sheriff, who is paid more for additional responsibility for the jail and hazardous duty involved with law enforcement.”
“If we assume that same logic and precedence and apply it to the precinct elected officials, then constables should make more than other elected precinct officials, not less,” Nay said.
The annual salary for Ellis County constables is currently $54,569. The annual salary for Ellis County justice of the peace judges is $60,031.
Nay explains that “Constables are required to have more education to run for office than any other precinct elected officials. They are also required to maintain more continuing education than almost any other elected official county-wide. We have full police authority within the entire county and concurrent responsibility of the sheriff, minus the jail administration. We are “on-duty” 24/7 when we are within the limits of Ellis County and further obligated to interfere in many offenses even outside our county. We have full civil and criminal authority and responsibility. We are the only elected officials who are not provided any clerical support staff. We risk our lives every day we pin on the badge to serve the citizens of Ellis County, yet we are paid the least of any elected official county-wide.
“We only seek what is fair and just pay, asking to be paid equal to the second lowest paid precinct officials, which are the county justices of the peace,” he added.
Nay’s Salary Grievance is set for a public hearing in the Ellis County Commissioners Court at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 23.
Nay and other constables voiced their concerns of not being paid equally in pre-budget meetings earlier this summer. Nay said he looks forward to presenting this inequality to the committee in hope that they will see the inequality.
Members of the committee are:
Ellis County Judge: Carol Bush
Ellis County Sheriff: Johnny Brown
Ellis County Tax Assessor/Collector: John Bridges
Ellis County Treasurer: Cheryl Chambers
Ellis County Clerk: Cindy Polly
Ellis County & District Attorney: Patrick Wilson
Ellis County Public Member #1: Colleen Tobey
Ellis County Public Member #2: Sandra Hill
Ellis County Public Member #3: Jameelah Cole
These committee members will decide upon the filed grievances.
According to the Texas Local Government Code 152.016, if six or more committee members vote to approve the requested amount, the recommendation will be made to the Ellis County Commissioner’s Court to vote on the decision; If all eight members are in favor of granting the grievance then the court must approve. There are only eight voting members on the committee, as the county judge is the chairman and may not cast a vote.