Harris County Commissioners Court is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a pay raise for itself. The 11-percent salary increases are included in the county's $1.5 billion budget.
Critics like Michael Quinn Sullivan at Texans for Fiscal Responsibility argue the public should have a say.
“Its a step too far for most of us who rely on a boss to pay us more rather than just being able to appropriate more money from a bank account,” Sullivan tells KTRH News.
However, Commissioner Steve Radack says voting for a pay raise is much more transparent than how other public figures are paid.
"A number of elected officials are tied to the district court judges in the state of Texas, and they get certain percentages of the salaries of those judges,” says Radack.
If approved, this would be the first pay raise for commissioners since 2008.
“Over time, we've been able to hire incrementally and give increases to other employees, so commissioners made sure their opportunities were there before there was anything on the table for them,” according to the county's Director of Human Resources Dave Kester.
Still, Sullivan argues voters should have more input in pay raises for public officials.
“At the end of the day, those are dollars that could be going to programs, could be going to services, and that's part of the calculation taxpayers need to take into account,” he says.