I certainly agree with Larry Duck's recent letter expressing concern as to why teachers got twice the raise in pay as the other state employees.

Duck lives in Marion County. This type of unfair raises is a local problem in Florence County.

Money has flowed into the Florence County Sheriff's Office for excessive equipment, cars and often raises. Average career county employees have had a rough track record of raises. Often their raises have barely met the increases to maintain benefits such as health care. Employees have actually been left with a decrease in "take-home" money for years.

People have to work to live, so these dedicated employees keep on with this "bullying" by the Florence County Council. I understand the council has a tough job with the budget, but it is time to move up the salaries of career dedicated senior employees that have to endure while waiting on raises.

It is hard to understand why employees are always near the bottom of the list when budget time rolls around. It may be a very sad day if the county is crippled by seasoned, knowledgeable employees being driven away and then replaced with employees with little or no experience. The entire county's quality of services will suffer greatly.

People ask why such injustice is done. The simple answer is because government can, and the same reason is always given: "We are trying."

I do not and have never worked for the county, but I hear this story often.

CLIFTON THOMAS

Florence

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