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Supervisors Approve 1.5 Percent Raise For Elected Officials

By Staff | Jan 10, 2012

At the Dec. 19, meeting of the Palo Alto County Compensation Board, members voted unanimously to recommend a raise of 3.6 percent for the elected officials of Palo Alto County. That recommendation met with resistance from the Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors during their Jan. 3, meeting.

“These automatic raises every year have got to cease,” stressed Supervisor Jerry Hofstad, kicking off the discussion. “It’s not only here, it’s the city, the hospital, any place that’s publicly funded.”

“There hasn’t been an automatic raise at the county level in the last few years,” rebutted Ron Graettinger, Supervisor. “If you have good people working for the county, you’ve got to support them. You have to treat your employees well.”

Supervisor Ed Noonan wondered if the board could give a dollar amount instead of a percent raise.

“Right now, we’re talking elected officials,” said Graettinger.

“But it’s all related,” Noonan said. “Do you think it’s right that we keep doing percentage?”

“I kind of like the dollar amount,” said Supervisor Keith Wirtz. “Everyone is treated the same.”

Noonan then asked Moser and County Treasurer Mary Hilfiker if, as county employees, they believe they should be contributing to their health insurance.

“There are some counties that have done away with the dental insurance in an attempt to keep their health insurance,” Hilfiker shared. “Another alternative is to not contribute as much to the health insurance fund as we are now.”

Graettinger argued that he thought a fair raise would be 2 percent.

“One and a half percent is more than enough,” Hofstad countered.

Wirtz agreed with a 1.5 percent salary increase, and added that this raise, combined with the 1.5 percent increase in insurance, would equal a 3 percent raise overall.

Noonan noted that he wouldn’t vote for 2 percent.

Graettinger then moved to approve a 1.5 percent raise for elected officials; Supervisor Leo Goeders seconded the motion. The motion passed on a roll call vote with Graettinger, Goeders, and Wirtz voting “aye” and Hofstad and Noonan voting “nay.”

As a result of the 1.5 increase, the County Attorney will see a salary increase from $68,401.86 to $69,427.89; Auditor from $49,462.98 to $50,204.89; Recorder from $49,462.98 to $50,204.89; Treasurer from $49,462.98 to $50,204.89; Sheriff from $59,422.16 to $60,313.49; and Supervisors from $24,368.12 to $24,733.64.