HARRODSBURG — Mercer County Magistrate Larry Peyton screwed up his political courage Tuesday and requested a raise.
Saying the economy is down and gas prices are up, Peyton asked that magistrates’ monthly expense accounts be doubled from $100 to $200 to help cover the rising cost of doing the county’s business.
“It hasn’t been raised in over 25 years,” Peyton said. “We’re some of the lowest paid magistrates in the state.”
Magistrates Dennis Holiday and J.B. Claunch joined Peyton in voting for the raise, but magistrates Wayne Jackson, Ronnie Sims and Donnie Webb voted no. That left Judge-Executive Milward Dedman in position to cast the deciding vote. He didn’t hesitate.
“I vote yes,” Dedman said. “I think it’s been a long, long time. They deserve it.”
Mercer magistrates are paid $6,381 per year, plus benefits. Peyton said magistrates in some other counties are paid as much as $30,000 a year.