Update on Engineer raise
Hamilton County Engineer William Brayshaw met with and tried to smooth things over with his workers today after they harshly criticized him for taking a pay raise when they didn't get one.
You may remember our earlier report on this issue.
Brayshaw and Ted Hubbard, the chief deputy engineer and second-highest-paid department employee updated the Enquirer today.
They said Hubbard had agreed in December to forgo his own 2008 raise and take a pay cut in order to balance out Brayshaw getting his raise. Hubbard said he wasn't asked to do it. He offered because in the past Brayshaw has given workers raises even when he didn't get one himself.
County Commissioners froze salaries for non-union workers because of the tight 2008 budget. They asked department heads, in the interest of fairness, to consider donating their own raises back to the county.
The Engineer did not. His salary comes from a different fund so it doesn't affect the county's bottom line. But workers were furious and fired off a critical letter.
Brayshaw said he thinks discussions today have helped to soothe some of those hard feelings.
"I think it's (the relationship) been mended. They realize I've been funded differently," he said. "If they would have known it ahead of time they would have reacted differently."
The engineer's raise is set every four years by the Ohio General Assembly and comes out of the county's restricted road and bridge fund. Brayshaw, who now makes $104,230, once went for four years without a raise but still gave workers their raises, he said. That might happen again starting in 2009, he said, depending on what the General Assembly decides.
Hubbard emphasized he was not pressured to take a pay cut for Brayshaw. He offered to do it, he said. All that was laid out for workers. Many, though not all, were satisfied with the explanation, said Hubbard.
"There are many years when myself and staff and employees got raise when Bill didn’t," said Hubbard. "It's perfectly appropriate for me to take an adjustment down to make up for Bill's raise."
Hubbard's salary was $103,700 last year. It dropped to $100,0861 this year becuase of the agreement. The average salary last year in the department (including Brayshaw and Hubbard), was about $46,000.
Hubbard and Brayshaw also noted that employees may still get their raises if the department does well financially. That will be decided in July.
And Brayshaw also rejected claims that he "double dips." He said he was fired by the Ohio Department of Transportation (rather than having retired) in 1983 and he collects no retirement from that organization. He also said he is not getting any money from the county Storm Water District, though he continues to assert he is owed the back pay from the years he served as its head.
"I don't have any other income other than the engineer's office," he said.