County urges vote

Published 3:21 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2006

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Escambia County voters will have an opportunity Nov. 7 to vote for a measure that would save the county $135,000.
A local amendment on the ballot would phase out the supernumerary system, which allows certain county officials, such as the tax assessor and sheriff, to continue to receive a portion of their salary after they leave office as a retirement benefit.
All county officials would be able to use the state retirement system to save for retirement if the amendment passes, Sanks said.
Commission Chairman David Stokes said the county would have an easier time budgeting for officials' retirement under the new system.
The county initially would save $135,000 per year if the program is eliminated, Sanks said. But if the program remains active, it will continue to cost the county more and more each year, he said.
Sanks said 55 of the state's 67 counties have already eliminated the supernumerary program.
Sheriff Grover Smith agreed that the new system makes more sense - even though he would have benefited from the supernumerary system.
The local amendment is one of two on the ballot that will affect the county. Another measure would give the county commission more power to regulate nuisances in rural areas such as noise, pollution and litter. Only residents in the unincorporated areas of the county will vote on the nuisance measure.
The entire county will vote on the elimination of the supernumerary system.