Jefferson County elected officials’ pay proposal would link to judge salaries
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Jefferson County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Rosekrans, left, listens to County Administrator Philip Morley discuss salary adjustments at a meeting on Monday. —Photo by Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — A proposal to tie compensation for elected officials to the state Superior Court judge salary is under consideration in Jefferson County.

Under the proposal, which was presented at a quarterly meeting of county senior staff and elected officials Monday, the offices of county commissioner, assessor, auditor, clerk and treasurer would all receive 47 percent of a Superior Court judge’s salary, which is amended periodically by the Washington Citizens Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials.

The proposal also suggests the sheriff receive 56 percent of that amount and the prosecuting attorney get 84 percent, although half of the prosecutor’s salary is paid by the state.

In March, the Jefferson County commissioners approved a salary raise for their positions tied to the judge’s salary, to take effect in January 2017 when all the current commissioners’ terms have expired.

The commissioners had not received a salary increase since 2008 while approving periodic salary adjustments for other officeholders, which ended up in their receiving $10,000 less than some other elected officials.

“We wanted to have the various county officials’ salaries stable relative to each other,” said County Administrator Philip Morley on Monday.

“If they are not increasing at the same amount, they will diverge again.”

If approved, the proposal would take effect in January 2015 and would be addressed prior to yearly budget discussions, according to Erin Lundgren, county clerk of the board.

Superior Court judges now receive $156,363 per year.

Using the current figures under the formula, the commissioners would receive a $73,951 salary, a 15.6 percent increase over the current $63,926 and slightly less than the $74,459 proposed in a March 10 resolution.

The four other elected offices would receive the same salary as the commissioners, while the sheriff would receive $87,563 and the prosecutor $131,344.

Final index numbers are not yet available, but under the current levels, the assessor, auditor, treasurer and clerk’s $73,951 salary represents a 2.73 percent raise from their current salary of $71,980, while the sheriff will receive a 2.99 percent increase from the $85,015 amount.

The prosecutor would see a 2.2 percent increase from the current salary of 128,507.

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Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: July 28. 2014 6:37PM
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