The Cherokee County Compensation Board is recommending a 2.5 percent raise in pay for all elected county officials, other than members of the board of supervisors.
Based on the recommendation of the supervisors themselves, the compensation board is recommending no increase in salary for the supervisors.
The members of the compensation board met Thursday morning in the board room at the Cherokee County Courthouse.
There are seven members of the compensation board - Dan Hingtgen (chairman), Frank Escue, Bev Zieman, Rich Ravnsborg, Evan Knapp, Dave Ladwig and Dan Meloy. Meloy was absent from the Thursday morning meeting.
The supervisors' salaries will remain at $19,700, ($20,700 for the chairman). This is a part-time position but provides a health insurance benefit.
It was noted that the decision not to increase the salaries of the five supervisors does not reflect in any way on the job performance of the supervisors but was simply done because of the request by the supervisors that no increase be given this year.
There was some discussion about the pay adjustment for the county attorney position since that position is going from part-time to full-time.
The pay to be approved during the current budgeting process is for the fiscal year beginning July 1. However, the change to a full-time coutnty attorney will take place at the start of the calender year, Jan. 1, 2007. This corresponds with the end of the term of office for the current county attorney, Mark Cozine. Cozine said he will not run for the position at the end of his term.
Cozine explained that the amount approved based on the compensation board recommendation will be for the six months from July 1, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2006, with the salary for the remainder of the fiscal year set by the board of supervisors because it is a changed position.
The current salary is $46,418 for the part-time county attorney position. The compensation board voted to recommend a 2.5 percent increase.
None of the other elected officials made specific proposals for a salary increase. Currently, the sheriff's salary is $48,572. The auditor, treasurer and recorder all earn $40,744 a year. The compensation board voted to recommend that all of these salaries be increased by 2.5 percent.
Bev Zieman spoke in favor of longevity pay, noting that the county treasurer has served in the treasurer's office for 41 years. No one else favored longevity pay.
When the compensation board's recommendations are presented to the Cherokee County Board of Supervisors, the supervisors have three options. They can approve the raises recommended, they can turn down all raises or they can reduce the amount recommended for all the elected officials by the same percentage.
The requirements and limitations for using county compensation boards are set by state law.