Whitfield County constitutionally elected officers continue to return pay to share in the pain of four mandatory furlough days for county employees this year.
This week, Robby Staten, a member of the Whitfield County Board of Commissioners, donated $161.56 to the county. That number equals four days of salary for Staten.
Some 500 county workers will take four days off without pay — or furloughs — to offset a severe budget shortfall. The furloughs will save the county about $400,000.
Under state law, constitutionally elected officials are exempt from salary reductions. They may, however, voluntarily return the equivalent of each furlough day, or more, of their salary. In essence, it’s a charitable donation to the government. If all 14 constitutional officers donated four days salary to the county, it would save $11,519.
All five commissioners and other officials have each returned either their four-day pay equivalent or slightly more. Other officials say they plan to return money.