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Zapata County Commissioners rescind pay increase after public outcry

Published: Oct. 11, 2021 at 12:39 PM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - Zapata County residents came out against a proposed pay increase for their county commissioners pay increases.

During the recent budget process, it was determined that the county is in the hole a one-million dollars.

Despite that, all four commissioners, with the exception of Judge Joe Rathmell voted in favor of increasing elected officials pay by 20 percent.

When word got out regarding the pay increase, some Zapata residents started up a petition.

With hundreds of signatures collected and Friday morning many of those who signed it showed up at commissioner’s court to voice their concerns.

However, before public comments could begin, each commissioner explained they heard the public loud and clear and agreed to revoke their pay increase.

Residents and Zapata County Republican Chair Jennifer Thatcher who created the bipartisan petition says she hopes Zapata officials learn from the experience.

Thatcher says, “Our county has been hurt with the pandemic and we’re still suffering with the pandemic and it was just fiscally irresponsible of them to consider such a gratuitous pay raise across the board, so we just hope that the other elected officials who really are what truly have our communities and are for our community also decline their pay raise and maybe hopefully get something further on when we are at a better standing with our financials.”

Through the online petition they were also able to raise over $400 for their local food pantry.

During the meeting, a few elected officials also agreed to rescind their pay bump.

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