Fiscal Court approves salaries for key county positions, tables tourism appointments

Published 11:00 am Thursday, August 3, 2023

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The Clark County Fiscal Court meeting last Thursday, July 27, centered on setting salaries and making appointments, though the latter will take place at a future meeting.

The salaries for the Clark County Finance Officer and Deputy Judge-Executive positions were set respectively to $50,000 and $40,000 per year.

As previously reported by the Sun, in settling the lawsuit that Clark County Judge-Executive Les Yates filed against the magistrates of the Fiscal Court, one condition was that various charges would be dropped pending the approval of $90,000 from the Clark County Fiscal Court with no more than $50,000 being used for any one individual salary.

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Judge Yates responded when asked by Magistrate Mark Miller how he came up with the amount chosen for each salaried position.

“The finance officer is a very critical position, and that’s one that we absolutely have to have filled,” Yates said. “I felt like it [would] be easier to find a deputy judge than it [would] be a new finance officer.”

The approved salary of $50,000 per year means an increase for current Clark County Finance Officer Fran Howard.

Regarding the Clark County Deputy Judge-Executive position, Magistrate Dan Konstantopoulos initially raised concerns.

“I make a motion that we postpone this to our next meeting,” Konstantopoulos said. “The $40,000 salary is perfectly fine when you hire somebody, but I think it has to be attached to a person.”

Magistrate Steve Craycraft responded.

“I always thought it was getting the cart before the horse when you hire somebody and then [say] later on, ‘Okay, now that you’ve got the job, now I’m going to tell you what your salary is going to be,’” Craycraft said. “I think it’s a better policy to set the salary and hire the position, and then everything’s clear.”

Magistrate Chris Davis acknowledged that he was similarly concerned as was Konstantopoulos but had spoken to Clark County attorney William Elkins by phone earlier in the day.

“It’s consistent with the agreement that was reached a couple weeks ago,” Davis said.

Konstantopoulos – after several other magistrates also spoke – rescinded his original motion and made the motion to approve the salary.

The motion was carried unanimously.

Two appointments and a re-appointment of members to multiple Winchester-Clark County Tourism Commission associations were tabled until a further meeting.

Three separate orders would have reappointed Leanna Comer to the Hotel/Motel Association of the Tourism Commission, appointed Zach Pasley to the Hotel/Motel Association, and appoint Jeleana Moore to the Chamber of Commerce Association.

Stating that he could not contact the nominees, Konstantopoulos motioned for the postponement.

“I also just have a couple of other questions. I just want to run it by the county attorney,” Konstantopoulos said. “I’m not saying that I’m against any of these [candidates]. My preference is that we take a look [at] our next meeting.”

Questions were also raised concerning the residency of Moore, who lives in Lexington.

Winchester-Clark County Tourism Commission Executive Director Nancy Turner opined that nominating her through the Chamber of Commerce Association allowed the nomination to occur, the matter is pending approval due to being tabled.

The motion to postpone passed by a 5-2 vote. Yates and Magistrate Robert Blanton were the “No” votes.