Laramie County Commissioner M. Lee Hassenour says he wants to hear from the public on whether county employees should receive pay raises in the fiscal year 2014 budget.

Hassenour notes county employees haven't had a raise in four years, and says one problem is that some county departments are losing workers to state agencies that offer higher wages.  He specifically says the county assessor is having a hard time meeting the workload of assessing county properties.He says that while there is little doubt the county employees are underpaid, there is still the question of whether the county can afford the raises, adding "the only way the county can spend more money is to raise taxes".

Hassenour says the county budget situation in general is very tight, and is potentially made even tighter by the effects of federal sequestration budget cuts. Hassenour also notes that virtually every county department has been asking commissioners for more money in the new budget to either add equipment, or an employee or both.