Harris County commissioners could soon give themselves a raise


The vote is scheduled for February 11, as part of Harris County's annual budget process.

The four county commissioners are about to vote on a raise, their own and County Judge Ed Emmett supports it.

"They manage budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars annually. They're on call 24 hours a day. So the fact that they haven't had a raise since 2008, means we need to look at it,"Judge Emmett said.

In fact, all county elected officials are about to get a raise. In the proposal set to be voted on soon, commissioners will get an 11 percent hike from $149,000 to almost $166,000. Constables get around six percent, and the county treasurer around three percent.


Treasurer Orlando Sanchez says that's reasonable.

"It's always touchy, but I didn't think it would be controversial. One, I don't think it's out of line, percentage wise," Sanchez said.

County residents we talked to thought have mixed emotions.

"I don't think they do enough to get a 10 percent raise, personally, because nothing has changed," said resident Barbara Martin.

Meanwhile, another resident has a percentage he finds reasonable.

"Two percent," said George Parrish.

But after five years without a raise and the county's tax base expanding, elected officials tell us, it's time for a raise.

"I think we have a very dedicated group of public servants that work very hard to make sure the services we provide are top quality so I'm very much in favor of having a modest pay raise," said Alan Rosen with Harris County Precinct One.

Even though we are the largest county, elected officials are not the highest paid right now. In fact, commissioners in Montgomery County currently get paid about $5,000 more.

Harris County's economy is booming, so there is money in the budget for raises, without hiking taxes.

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