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Posted on: July 27, 2022

Statement Regarding Misinformation about Camden County Sheriff’s Office Compensation

In January 2022, the Camden County Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved spending $52,500 for Condrey & Associates to complete a Compensation & Classification Survey. The Camden County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO), along with other entities and Constitutional Offices receiving compensation through the Board of Commissioners, participated in the questionnaire and personnel interviews.

The questionnaire covered major aspects of each employee's position as well as the physical demands and work environment of the position. After reviewing the information contained in the position questionnaires, Condrey & Associates interviewed employees individually and developed a classification recommendation for each position. Approximately 50% of the County’s 362 staff were personally interviewed for the study. Condrey & Associates includes former law enforcement and first responder personnel who conducted these interviews with all public safety positions.

The Camden County Board of Commissioners held a Work Session on May 18, 2022, to discuss the report from Condrey & Associates as well as review the suggested salary schedules. Sheriff Jim Proctor and representatives from the Camden County Sheriff’s Office were present for this work session and verbally indicated approval and acceptance of the proposed changes discussed during the meeting.

The Camden County Board of Commissioners approved the FY 2023 Budget on June 23, 2022, increasing the General Fund (GF) Salaries and Benefits budgets for all Sheriff’s Office divisions by $2,093,932, or 29.08%. These figures also include four (4) new positions in the Patrol Division, ten (10) new positions for the Jail, and one (1) new School Resource Officer (SRO).

Division
Salaries & Benefits Increase
Percent Increase
Patrol$1,036,85331.20%
Jail$785,98632.27%
*E-911$189,50215.53%
SRO$81,59136.78%
Total$2,093,932

*Communications Officers received a $2.00/hour increase, averaging approximately $4,368 annually, at the start of calendar year 2022.         

The Board of Commissioners continues to provide increases for the Camden County Sheriff’s Office and is committed to ensuring their staff is equitably and reasonably compensated. Not only has this come in the form of increased funding, but also from the approval of 35 new positions since fiscal year 2017. The graph below recognizes this continued commitment through a 108% or $4,825,559 increase in salaries and benefits between FY 2012 to FY 2023.


On July 15, 2022, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office provided Personnel Status Change forms to the Human Resources Department with compensation requests for $584,028 over the amount approved in the FY 2023 Budget.

There has been misleading and false information placed on social media platforms regarding this situation. The Camden County Board of Commissioners seek to correct these assumptions by providing more insight and documentation into the reality of the circumstances.


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Assumption: "By Georgia law, a county Board of Commissioners cannot dictate what a Sheriff pays his employees."

Reality: The Board of Commissioners acknowledges that it does not have the authority to set the terms of compensation for your employees. However, the Board of Commissioners is responsible for preparing a comprehensive, balanced county budget that includes reasonable funding for the Sheriff's Office. The adopted budget for each of the divisions within the Sheriff’s Office is more than reasonable to provide a premium salary for each of the current and future prospective employees.


Assumption: "Over a year ago, Sheriff Jim Proctor sent status change forms to the county HR department to affect raises for each employee."

Reality: Yes, Personnel Status Change forms were submitted to the Human Resources Department in July 2021 and July 2022. In both instances, the forms included compensation figures that were above and beyond the approved allocation in each of the respective fiscal year’s budgets. In July 2021, the requested changes totaled $957,534 above the FY 2022 Approved Budget. In July 2022, the requested changes totaled $584,028 above the FY 2023 Approved Budget which included $2,093,932 in salary and benefits increases. 

The Camden County Board of Commissioners must maintain a balanced budget. Changes to the budget must be approved by the Board of Commissioners through a Budget Amendment voted on during a Board of Commissioners meeting.


Assumption: "Your Camden County Board of Commissioners refused to let the county HR department, which is under their control, process those forms."

Reality: The Camden County Board of Commissioners never received a formal request for a budget amendment, only Personnel Status Change forms for new salaries that were $957,534 above the approved FY 2022 budget. In July 2021, the Camden County Board of Commissioners invited Sheriff Proctor (PDF) to further discuss compensation needs and no response was presented to the BOC. 

On July 15 2022, the Sheriff’s Office requested $584,028 above the approved FY 2023 budget. The FY 2023 Budget includes the increases as provided in Plan B of the “Final Report: A Job Classification & Compensation Plan for Camden County, Georgia” by Condrey & Associates Inc., dated May 2022. 

The proposed pay increases (above the amount recommended by Condrey & Associates) would result in an exceedingly high deficit in the Sheriff’s Office budget. Therefore, the Human Resources Department was unable to process the Change of Status forms as proposed. 

 

Assumption: "Your Camden County Board of Commissioners paid $80,000 for a study to determine what the Sheriff’s Office employees should be paid although, in a letter to the Sheriff’s Office, they stated that, by law they know they have ZERO say or control over our pay rate."

Reality: In January 2022, the Camden County Board of Commissioners approved spending $52,500 for Condrey & Associates to complete a Compensation & Classification Survey (PDF). The Camden County Sheriff’s Office, along with other entities and Constitutional Offices receiving compensation through the Board of Commissioners, participated in the questionnaire and associated activities. 

On July 5, 2022, Sheriff Proctor sent a letter (PDF) to Board of Commissioners Chairman Gary Blount regarding compensation stating, “…I encourage, welcome, and support any pay increases for the men and women of Camden County Sheriff’s Office who protect our citizens.” 


Assumption: "Your Camden County Board of Commissioners agreed to process the status change forms for below the midline point of what their study, the same $80,000 study that they paid for, recommended that we be paid. The money from this study came from Federal covid funds that were supposed to go to county employees."

Reality: The Camden County Board of Commissioners approved the FY 2023 Budget on June 23, 2022, increasing the General Fund (GF) Salaries and Benefits budgets for all Sheriff’s Office divisions by $2,093,932, or 29.08%. These figures also include four (4) new positions in the Patrol Division, ten (10) new positions for the Jail, and one (1) new School Resource Officer (SRO). 

The Board of Commissioners chose to follow Plan B of the “Final Report: A Job Classification & Compensation Plan for Camden County, Georgia” by Condrey & Associates Inc., dated May 2022. All members of the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, along with other county employees, are budgeted in the FY 2023 budget to receive the amounts in Plan B, not an amount “far below the midline point” of the study. 

As such, the Board of Commissioners is proceeding with increasing all salaries for Camden County Sheriff’s Office employees (PDF) as outlined in Plan B of the “Final Report: A Job Classification & Compensation Plan for Camden County, Georgia” by Condrey & Associates Inc., dated May 2022. 

The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding provided to Camden County did pay for the Condrey & Associates study.


Assumption: "When a certain person on the commission asked where the money would come from for a budget increase, Commissioner Trevor Reddick stated it should be taken from the spaceport budget. A certain commissioner replied, 'that ain’t gonna happen!'"

Reality:  It’s a misrepresentation of the larger conversation to only include a small part of an exchange without the context. The members of the Camden County Board of Commissioners demonstrate a friendly comradery throughout their meetings. A statement made outside of a vote has little impact in the overall work of the Board of Commissioners. 

The Spaceport Camden budget has been a year-to-year decision, unlike the salaries that are in every budget. The Board of Commissioners is responsible for preparing a comprehensive, balanced county budget that includes reasonable funding for the Sheriff's Office.

 

Assumption: "Although the county budget shows zero dollars for the spaceport budget, that money is obviously hidden in the budgets of other departments."

Reality: The Approved FY 2023 Budget (PDF) is available on the Camden County website. This document shows all budgets approved by the Board of Commissioners. It is completely false to suggest that items are “hidden” in a publicly posted document. Changes to the budget must be approved by the BOC through a Budget Amendment voted on during a Board of Commissioners meeting.


Assumption: "The spaceport is more important to the Camden County Board of Commissioners than the safety of the residents of this county, a properly funded Sheriff’s Office which affects our training, equipment and employee retention."

Reality:  From FY 2012 through FY 2023, the Camden County Board of Commissioners has dedicated a total of $101,652,290 to the Camden County Sheriff’s Office. These expenditures include salaries, maintenance and operations, and capital expenditures for Patrol, Investigations, School Resource Officers, Jail, and E-911 Divisions. 

Clearly, the Camden County Board of Commissioners is dedicated to supporting the Camden County Sheriff’s Office and funding law enforcement in our community as identified by the continued financial support and resources. 

The graph below recognizes this continued commitment through a 123% or $7,907,559 increase in expenditures between FY 2012 to FY 2023.

All Expenditures FY12-FY23 Including Maintenance/Operations & Capital Expenditures


Assumption: "The Sheriff is paid on a State of Georgia mandated scale so he gains nothing from this, except the ability to properly fund his Office and retrain employees."

Reality: As a Constitutional Officer, the Sheriff’s salary has a “Base Salary” set by the State of Georgia. The Board of Commissioners have not approved any additional supplement to the Sheriff that would be above his mandated salary as set forth by O.C.G.A. § 15-16-20.

Reference: Ga. Const. art. IX, §1, ¶3(b); art. IX, §2, ¶1. A minimum annual salary based on the county population and an addition to the minimum salary are provided by general law, O.C.G.A. §§15-16-19, 15-16-20, 15-16-20.1, 15-16-20.2. Otherwise, the sheriff’s salary is set by local law, and such salary may be greater than that set by general law. Lawson v. Lincoln County, 292 Ga. App. 527, 664 S.E.2d 900 (2008); Houlihan v. Saussy, 206 Ga. 1, 55 S.E.2d 557 (1949); Warren v. Walton, 231 Ga. 495, 202 S.E.2d 405 (1973).

In November 2018, Sheriff Jim Proctor authorized an increase to his own salary (PDF) of $9,301.50 for “Cumberland Island Project Manager duties” through a contract. This is a contract that the Sheriff entered into, without input or knowledge from the Board of Commissioners, which he personally benefited from. 

 In a proposed Sheriff’s Office-specific salary schedule (PDF), received by the Human Resources Department on July 15, 2022, the Sheriff proposed increasing his salary at 3% annually. This is a larger increase than the 2.5% proposed for all other employees (both at the Sheriff’s Office and throughout the county). However, this proposal cannot be accepted because the Sheriff’s salary is set through O.C.G.A. § 15-16-20, and any additional increase must be approved by the Board of Commissioners.


Assumption: "EVERY office and department in the county was given a raise to take affect almost immediately based on the recommendation of that department head or Constitutional Officer except the Sheriffs Office. No study was paid for to determine what they should be paid."

Reality: As mentioned previously, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office participated in the Condrey & Associates survey. During the May 18, 2022, Work Session with Condrey & Associates, members of the survey team recognized Sheriff Jim Proctor for his cooperation with the survey.

On Thursday, June 30, 2022, the Human Resources Department sent an email (PDF) to over 50 email distribution groups, including email addresses for 911, Corrections, and Sheriff, stating that:

“The first complete pay period in the new fiscal year begins on Monday, July 11th, so that will be the date that the new pay rates become effective for each of you. You will first see new rates in your paychecks dated July 28th (this is the paycheck for pay period 7/11/2022 – 7/24/2022).”

It is clear that the intention is to provide the raises to all employees at the same time and that it will begin with the paychecks received on July 28, 2022.


Assumption: "Everything stated above is public record and should be available to you if you properly request the documents……you, as a resident and a member of the voting public should be mad as hell………"

Reality: Beginning in April 2022, the Camden County Board of Commissioners began to livestream their meetings, public hearings, and work sessions. There is no need to request documentation relating to these meetings as the recordings are available online. 

Open Records Requests may be needed for some documents, but that process is available to all members of the public at any time. There is nothing new in the process requiring an alternative request process. Please note that not all county-related Open Records Requests may be completed through the link above. If the request relates to a Constitutional Office, you must contact that office directly. 


Assumption: "the money for our raises is already in our approved budget…..the board simply refuses to let them be processed"

Reality: Positive confirmation and acceptance was received from each Constitutional Office, except for the Camden County Sheriff’s Office, in advance of the start of the new fiscal year on July 1, 2022. 

It is the strong desire of the Camden County Board of Commissioners to compensate all members of the Camden County Sheriff’s Office at the increased rates established in the Plan B of the “Final Report: A Job Classification & Compensation Plan for Camden County, Georgia” by Condrey & Associates Inc., dated May 2022.

The new starting salaries that were included in the Condrey & Associates plan are listed in the chart below. 

PositionNew SalaryCurrent Starting SalaryIncrease
Deputy Sheriff$42,2017$35,730$6,487
Jailor$36,403$30,991$5,412
Communications Officer*$35,516$34,944$572

*Communications Officers received a $2.00/hour increase, averaging approximately $4,368 annually, at the start of calendar year 2022.         

In addition to the increases in the starting salaries, there is a one-time “equity adjustment” for existing employees. This allows employees with 1-3 years of service, 4-6 years of service, and 7 or more years of service to receive additional step increases. This adjustment was made for all employees, including the Camden County Sheriff’s Office.

The Camden County Board of Commissioners value the incredible service of the men and women of the Camden County Sheriff’s Office.

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