Ballots are hitting mailboxes right now. El Paso County Commissioners are asking voter permission to keep up to $20 million of the money we overpaid in taxes. We’re solidly against giving them even one more dime.
We wrote about the ballot issue here.
We wrote about the recent taxpayer funded county employee events to the zoo, Switchbacks soccer, and the Olympic Museum here.
This past week, the government wheels have started turning and El Paso County bureaucrats want to boost the salaries of county employees. No doubt some of the lower wage earners are underpaid, but not everyone is a low wage earner. At a time when we’re being asked to let them keep $20 million, and when they report they don’t have enough money to fix roads, why are they boosting salaries for those who are already being very well compensated?
How many employees work for El Paso County?
According to the El Paso County Public Information Officer here are the numbers for the past few years:
- Sept 2018: 2,902 El Paso County employees
- Sept 2019: 3,013 El Paso County employees
- Sept 2020: 3,113 El Paso County employees
- Sept 2021: 3,092 El Paso County employees
From 2018 to 2021, there has been an increase of 190 employees. That’s a 6.55% increase in 3 years. Does that mirror the population growth for El Paso County? No. Population in the county has risen only 3.5% since 2018. County government is growing at a rate almost twice that of the population! We need less government growth, not more.
We looked into El Paso County pay records through the online site OpenTheBooks.com. In 2020, 176 county employees were paid salaries over $100,000 a year. That’s over $22 million, not including benefits! The County Attorney’s salary jumped from $187,388 to $218,441 from 2019 to 2020. That’s an increase of $31,052 in just one year. That’s shocking, as her raise was more than a year’s wages for the entire SpringsTaxpayers.com staff!
Here’s a link to the El Paso County page for OpenTheBooks.com. The county is now asking for a wage increase of 3.5% for all county employees, totaling an additional $7.4 million. Does this sound like a county that can’t afford to fix our roads?
Here is a look at the top 10 highest paid El Paso County employees for the year 2020:
- Coroner – $255,237.99
- County Administrator – $234,693.71
- Deputy Chief Medical Examiner – $229,411.45
- County Attorney – $218,441.08
- District Attorney – $215,239.92
- Forensic Pathologis – $210,860.00
- Public Health Director -$204,994.34
- Executive Dir – Human Services -$191,188.26
- Asst. District Attorney – $187,606.07
- CFO, Exec. Dir. Financial Services – $186,565.00
Contact your County Commissioner and ask them why they hold our roads hostage, while they grow government at a faster rate than the population. Ask them why they have money for raises, but no money to fix the roads. It’s all about priorities, folks!
Cami Bremer CamiBremer@elpasoco.com
Carrie Geitner CarrieGeitner@elpasoco.com
Longinos Gonzalez LonginosGonzalezJr@elpasoco.com
Stan Vanderwerf firstname.lastname@example.org
Holly Williams HollyWilliams@elpasoco.com
Brett Waters, takes a look at his $200,000+ salary. During many city council meetings we all sat in shock at his well crafted baloney. Next thing you know, out of 35 possible candidates, he is chosen to head up emergency for El Paso County. What did he accomplish for Colorado Springs?
And he was totally incompetent responding to the Waldo Canyon fire!!!
What this article overlooks is that El Paso County is losing many mid-level employees from departments to the private sector because they are so underpaid. They are having difficulty re-filling those positions. The county as an employer must also remain competitive. The problem isn’t that the county officials (most of whom are conservative) aren’t being responsible with tax funding, but rather that the cost of living and wages vs worker supply in Colo Spgs is out of control. This is due to many factors outside their control including the federal government paying workers to stay out of the workforce.