County moves to be competitive |

County moves to be competitive

Recently the Board of Supervisors approved pay raises for employees, department heads, and elected officials. They include increasing salaries to competitive rates and for modest raises. Fortunately, past prudent fiscal policy allows these increases while maintaining service levels. Keeping our experienced staff is essential to dealing with the state budget shortfalls.

In 1996, the board approved a process and formula for increasing Board of Supervisor salaries. The process requires that agreements must be reached with bargaining units, department heads and the other electeds (sheriff, auditor, etc.), before the BOS is considered. The formula allows the BOS an increase equal to the weighted average received by the employees. The average for 2001/2002 equals 8.98 percent, raising the BOS salary to $37,000 annually – their first raise in two years.

Pay for supervisors in similar counties is $48,000. The $37,000 is 43 percent of the other county electeds and 45 percent of the department heads. Clearly, supervisors’ compensation is below regional and local rates.

When the budget ax hits, the board needs to guard the reserves on hand and look for real savings by streamlining program delivery. This is where the hard budget work will have to take place.

Peter Van Zant

Supervisor, District I

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