Look for this Referendum on Tuesday’s Ballot
This is the one local referendum which should be approved by the voters.
This referendum seeks to adjust the salary for the Winston County Coroner in line with current realities. The current salary is less than $80.00 per month to pay for an official responsible for investigating and certifying the cause of every “unattended” death which happens in Winston County 24 hours a day 365 days a year.
The change, if approved, would increase the pay to around $10,000 per year. The job requires a response to every fatal accident, homicide, drug death and every suspicious death which occurs in the county. In addition, new requirements require the coroner to approve every death scheduled for cremation and review every hospice death. The coroner actually pronounces death in over 100 cases a year where the patient is simply not under the care of a physician.
Many cases require the coroner to take charge and custody of remains until an autopsy can be scheduled and conducted by forensic sciences and then issue and sign the death certificate.
The demands of this position have changed drastically over the years. Accuracy and thoroughness are critical to criminal prosecutions. We cannot expect anyone to respond throughout the county at all hours of the day and night for less than $1.80 an hour.