Commissioners sign off on $4 million for county employee bonuses

Chart Riggall, Marietta Daily Journal, Ga.
·2 min read

Apr. 13—MARIETTA — The Cobb Board of Commissioners approved a one-time, 3% bonus for all county employees at its Tuesday meeting.

The measure passed 5-0, and will apply to all employees who were employed as of last October and did not receive a raise under the step-and-grade pay raise approved by the board last month. Deputy County Manager Jimmy Gisi said 2,959 of the county's roughly 5,000 workers will be eligible for the bonus (officially known as an "incentive payment").

County employees will see the bonus (3% of their annual salary) applied to their April 23 paycheck. The bonus will cost the county just over $4 million.

Funding for the bonuses comes out of extra money generated by the 2016 1% sales tax program. The county was due about $13 million in reimbursements to its general fund for cash it fronted on several special purpose local option sales tax projects, including renovations at Switzer Library and a new medical examiner's facility. The money is now coming back to those funds as the SPLOST program continues to generate millions each month after surpassing its original goal.

Gisi said because the county's contingency funds are already sufficiently funded, the reimbursements are being directed toward priorities of the board brought up at their retreat, namely employee retention and capital maintenance. The use constitutes "one-time moneys for a one-time expense," as Finance Director Bill Volckmann said during the board's work session Monday.

Chairwoman Lisa Cupid has frequently emphasized employee retention as a major concern of hers in recent months.

"We cannot have years and years when we don't recognize the employees that step up to provide the gold standard of service that we have become so accustomed to here in Cobb County," Cupid said during her State of the County address in March.

In addition to the bonuses, the agenda item devotes $3.5 million to capital maintenance, $4 million to improvements at the county detention center, and $2.8 million to replace four fire engines, among other smaller items.