In a knee-jerk reaction to being questioned about mileage expenses, the Grayson County magistrates forfeited all travel pay reimbursement.
During a special-called fiscal court meeting on Monday, March 28, Grayson County resident Ron Tyrer presented the court with data from Butler County, Breckinridge County, and Franklin County, comparing the travel expense reimbursement for the magistrates of those counties with the magistrates of Grayson County.
Both Butler and Breckinridge Counties are reimbursed $.39 a mile, but only when they travel outside the county for training. Franklin County only pays travel expenses when the magistrates travel outside the county.
Grayson County magistrates receive a salary of $600 a month plus a training incentive of up to $3,900 a year for a maximum of 40 hours of training in addition to free health insurance and $500 a month travel expenses.
After Tyrer took his seat Second District Magistrate Presto Gary stood up and asked him how long he lived in the county.
Tyrer responded, “I moved here in 2005.”
“I was born in this county and have served four terms as a magistrate. I am proud to serve. It makes me angry when outsiders like you come in here and tell us how to do our business,” said Gary. “You are just picking on us because you are angry you did not get your way on the smoking ban.”
Gary added, “We do not charge the county for all the extra things we do, and I don’t need the mileage. As a matter of fact, I don’t want any of it.”
Tyrer responded to Gary’s accusation that he was an outsider, “Sir, I am an active member of this community. I serve on the hospital board and am a member of the Grayson County Rotary Club. I serve on five committees on Workforce Ready Community. How many of you have even attended a single Workforce Ready Community meeting?
“I am not asking you to not receive anything. I want you to look at it as a business,” said Tyrer. “It is not smart business to change the way you are reimbursed for travel to $500 a month, and all I am asking you to do is reconsider your previous decision and go back to logging your miles.”
Sixth District Magistrate Curtis Wells shared Gary’s views. “I think you are nosing into something you don’t need to be. You don’t have a clue what we do, and you should keep your nose out of it.
“But I am like him (Gary); I don’t need the mileage pay. If I want to eat steak, I am going to eat steak,” said Wells.
After Fifth District Magistrate Brad Brown and Fourth District Magistrate Jason Dennis echoed Gary and Wells’ decision not to accept travel reimbursement Judge Executive Gary Logsdon called for a motion.
The motion to no longer reimburse the magistrate for any travel expenses was passed in a 4-1 vote.
First District Magistrate, Harold Johnson voted “no,” and Fifth District Magistrate Bill Skaggs was not present for the meeting.
In other business:
• The fiscal court agreed to set up dump trucks for the Rough River and Nolin Lake clean-ups later this year.
• A resolution was passed to supply buses for parochial school children who live on the regular bus routes of the Grayson County School that buses are now traveling.
Reach Theresa Armstrong at 270-259-9622, ext. 2011.