LETTER:Questions pay raises

Lost opportunities to do more for road maintenance and for sewer infrastructure that could ease the housing shortage?

The Jefferson Board of county commissioners adopted pay increases for both salaried and elected personnel.

Salaries for FLSA and union exempt management and professional employees were increased not only going forward, but also by 7.5 percent retroactively for 2021.

After making a show of trying to treat themselves separately from other elected officials, the commissioners also adopted pay increases for their own positions as well.

Compensation for commissioners will go from $93,847 to $101,395 per year, while the raise for the assessor, auditor, clerk and treasurer will go up from $93,852 per year to $101,395 per year.

The increases for commissioners, by law, will not go into effect until after the next election for the district the commissioner represents.

The sheriff and prosecuting attorney salaries were increased to $130,528 and $177,212, respectively.

The pay of elected officials is indexed to the salary for Superior Court judges.

The raises reflect an increase in the percentage of a judge’s salary used by the commissioners to calculate county salaries; county officials’ pay will further increase anytime the state increases judges’ salaries.

The department heads have noted that staff salaries were out of sync with other counties, so some action may have been needed, particularly for people working 9-5 and more.

But retroactive increases for exempt managers for a full year, and increases at the level adopted for elected officials including their own ministerial positions, indicate that the commissioners are not wisely expending current funding windfalls.

Marcia Kelbon


EDITOR’S NOTE: Marcia Kelbon has filed with the state Public Disclosure Commission to run for Jefferson County commissioner in 2022.