Montgomery County's new Director of Elections started the job, but at $17,000 a year more than the former director. Why the pay bump?
The Montgomery County Commission welcomed Daniel Baxter this morning. He comes from Detroit, Michigan, and his resume lists more than 25 years of experience in working with elections, which is why some county leaders say he's well worth the price.
"I think he is worth every penny," says Montgomery County Probate Judge Steven Reed
Reed hired Baxter as the Director of Elections. Baxter will be in charge of managing the election process in Montgomery County.
Reed says because of Baxter's experience, he will be paid just under $78,000 a year. The position tops out at $84,000. When the previous Elections Director Justin Aday left, he was making $61,000 a year.
"You have to pay them what they are worth. I make no apologies for doing that with someone with 19 years in elections and seven managing a major city like Detroit," says Reed.
When asked why it's important taxpayers pay for more experience, Reed says there have been no major problems, "but there have been a few hiccups in terms of getting ballots overseas to some of our military personnel."
Baxter has worked with the Department of Elections for 28 years. He retired in June. Baxter says his plan is to save money and do more with less.
"I want to bring more grant opportunities to Montgomery," says Baxter.
The County Commission approved Baxter's hire and pay increase.
"When Judge Reed came and asked us to give a step higher raise to a person he is bringing in with that kind of talent, we try to follow suit to try to make the constitutional officer's job better," says Chairman Elton Dean.
The former Director of Elections Justin Aday left last November. He held the title for a year and a half.