Carper

Gatson

CHARLESTON - Anyone curious about the pay of Kanawha County officials now can see that information online.

As of Feb. 28, all salaries for the county's 1,666 employees were posted online at www.kanawha.us. This includes those who work for the prosecutor and assessor's offices, the commission and the county and circuit clerk's offices.

The decision to post all salaries online was made by the Kanawha County Commission.

Commission President Kent Carper said the decision has been met with some opposition from county employees, but the public has a right to see where tax money is going.

"The average taxpayer in West Virginia makes a very modest salary," Carper said. "They have every right to know what they are paying me, a public employee."

Employee salaries used to be made public often, usually printed annually in the newspaper, but that practice has stopped.

Carper said he tried to have a similar program started several years ago, but did not have the support he needed. However, last month state Auditor Glen Gainer published the salaries for all state employees on his office's Web site. That opened the door for the commission to vote to put the county salaries online.

Circuit Clerk Cathy Gaston said the payroll is public information so the commission's decision was the way to go.

"They made the right decision," Gaston said. "It's public information and clearly the commission's call to make."

Gaston said she has not heard anything bad from other employees about their pay information being so available.

All current full-time and part-time workers, and interns and poll workers pay figures can be found on the Web site.

Following the recent trend, the Kanawha County Board of Education has also discussed placing employee salaries online.

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