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MERIT-PAY BALLOTS KEEP OFFICIALS EDGY

MERIT-PAY BALLOTS KEEP OFFICIALS EDGY

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Davidson County commissioners say they want to leave behind their bickering over balloting for county employees' merit pay raises.

In the past few months, commissioners have disagreed about how merit pay raises for department heads were calculated. Commissioner Reid Davis charged that one of the commissioner's ballots - used to decide whether department heads should get a raise - was forged.Commissioners have argued about whether the ballot was forged, who might have forged it and what they ought to do about it.

During one meeting, Davis asked the commissioners to fill out new ballots, and they did. But the old ballots were used to decide the raises because the board never voted to take action on the new ballots, which differed from the old ones.

The disagreement went from county board room to a commissioner's home Friday, and two deputies were called to the home.

Board chairman Reid Sink and commissioner Kenny Moore went to commissioner Sim DeLapp's home Friday to talk about the ballot dispute.

DeLapp has confirmed that the handwriting on the disputed ballot is not his.

DeLapp also said, in published accounts Saturday, that Moore and Sink had told him they believed County Manager Norman Shronce's handwriting was on the forged ballot.

DeLapp was not at home when the two showed up, and his wife, who arrived home to find the men waiting in her driveway, called Davis. Davis called the sheriff's department. Efforts to reach Davis Tuesday were unsuccessful.

The deputies talked to Moore, Sink and DeLapp's wife, decided there was no problem and received permission to leave, Davidson Sheriff Paul R. ``Jaybird' McCrary said Tuesday.

Sink denied Tuesday that he ever said one of the ballots was false.

``I feel that it was blown all out of proportion,' Sink said. ``There was no intention of any harmful activity. I had a couple of questions to ask him. I feel bad that everything has happened like it has.'

DeLapp said: ``We just need to stop making comments and let the people of Davidson County decide who is telling the truth.'

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