Cherokee County has been inordinately blessed with outstanding leadership at our sheriffs, fire and EMT departments. But leadership and positive direction are only part of the equation that serves the public well in these services. The county expends a good amount of time and money toward up-to-date training and certifications. Members in the public service departments receive some of the best training there is.
Why then, in the face of excellent training and world-class leadership, are we losing quality personnel to other communities? The answer rests for the most part in the payroll structure of Cherokee County. To retain our qualified and well-trained people, we must be willing to keep ourselves competitive in the marketplace.
I would urge the Board of Commissioners to increase the pay rates of certified personnel in the sheriffs, fire and EMT departments by 10 percent when considering the next annual budget.