ANGLETON — After two Brazoria County road and bridge employees received salary increases outside the normal policy earlier this month — a decision that divided commissioners — 300th District Judge Randall Hufstetler voiced his disappointment at the “injustice” of the move.
“It’s not my intent to scold, though it may feel like that when I’m done,” Hufstetler told Brazoria County commissioners during their meeting Tuesday. “The one thing I’ve been fighting for for the last four years or so is the part that’s unjust.
“I read in the newspaper there were pay increases outside the policy. … I made a proposal to Commissioner (Ryan) Cade to fix the injustice that I think exists here in Brazoria County.”
The county policy includes a salary structure that consists of grades and steps, based on criteria such as job responsibilities and seniority. There are 53 grade levels, and each level has 15 pay steps, Brazoria County Human Services Director Holly Fox said.
Hufstetler argued he has asked commissioners for a pay increase for his court coordinator for the last four years and each time it’s been denied. The coordinator has worked for the county for almost 27 years and been in her current position since 2015, he said.
“The same arguments I’ve made every time are in the newspaper,” Hufstetler said at the meeting Tuesday, referencing an Oct. 12 article from The Facts about the salary decision.
Commissioners David Linder, Cade and Dude Payne voted to approve the salary increases for the road and bridge employees, who also had more than two decades of experience working for the county, while County Judge Matt Sebesta and Commissioner Stacy Adams voted no to the proposal.
The justification for voting in favor of the pay increases by Cade, Linder and Payne were the same reasons Hufstetler wanted the raise for his coordinator, he said.
“During the budget process I agreed that these were two employees that had been here a long time and are high-achievers that we wanted to be able to keep, and frankly I thought there was support in discussion for these positions to be changed and put on the budget with the other positions that we adjusted,” Cade said in supporting the road and bridge exceptions to the pay structure.
Hufstetler told commissioners they were looking after their own and the move was unjust.
“Pay my coordinator the same as the other coordinators,” Hufstetler said. “She does the same job. That’s what I’m trying to do. … All I’ve asked for is parity and justice.”