The last time the Man with the Badge took the podium to address Knox County commissioners he knew beforehand that he had the six votes needed to get his request passed. (Some folks still think it's five votes and that's why they're not on the winning end.)
That was when Sheriff Jimmy “J.J.” Jones asked officials – after county Mayor Tim Burchett said “no” - to replace his busted up patrol cars. They did.
So, when he asked commissioners on Monday to give his deputies raises, I'm pretty sure that he's not only got the six he needs, but the seventh to override a veto the mayor is no doubt planning if the request is approved.
(From what I understand county Law Director Joe Jarret says you need seven votes. The actual number for a super majority is something like 7.2. To me, it would make seem like you would need eight votes, but I'm not a lawyer – I just call them when I'm in trouble. But, I digress.)
Anyhoo, I talked to the county people (in other words Michael "spin doctor" Grider) this morning and was told that a 2.5 percent to a 3.5 percent across-the-board raise for deputies and the other workers who fall under the executive branch purview would cost between $2.5 million and almost $4 million.
Most rank-and-file county employees haven't had raises in three to four years. I'm not advocating for them one way or the other, just pointing this out.
Additionally, I want to note that JJ's deputies are quite capable of asking for a raise themselves, so he might not be behind the push. (And even if he wasn't, he's a smart guy, so he's going to the podium to advocate for it anyway.) But, remember. Not too long ago – right after the mayor sent JJ a proposed budget for his office – the sheriff said he was happy with it.
Except for one thing. It didn't include pay raises.
Update: Just got in the official cost numbers if across-the-board raises are given.
2.5 percent increase - $2,570,846.72
3.5 percent increase - $3,442,487.88
2.5 percent increase + 1 percent uniformed officer pension plan- $2,861,362.74
3.5 percent increase + 1 percent uniformed officer pension plan - $3,735,728.79