The Comal County Commissioners Court unanimously approved the 2023 county budget Aug. 18 that included an 8% across-the-board pay increase for all county employees.

After some public comment, however, commissioners opted to amend the budget to exclude themselves and other elected county officials from receiving the pay increase.

The $77.15 million budget is a 5.79% increase from the previous fiscal year’s budget; however, the 2022 budget was a 3.87% decrease from the 2021 budget.

As promised during the initial vote on the pay increases at the Aug. 11 meeting, Precinct 3 Commissioner Kevin Webb made the motion to amend the raises to exclude elected officials.

Comal County Judge Sherman Krause emphasized that the county’s pay scale for employees has fallen too far behind private sector employment.

“Right now in our sheriff's office, we have 36 vacant deputy positions. We have 33 vacant corrections officer positions. In our road department, we have 30 vacant positions for the folks that get out there on the ground and they're repairing and taking care of our roadways,” Krause said. “It wasn't that long ago when we posted a position sometimes we would get over 100 applicants for those positions. Today, we sometimes post positions and get zero applications.”