July 21, 2024

Supervisors approve pay increases

The Clarke County Board of Supervisors approved a variety of pay increases at their June 3 regular meeting. The supervisor took recommendations from the compensation board, and made their modifications for fiscal year 2024-25.

The compensation board and the offices they look at are: Bill Carper, auditor; Betty Craig, treasurer; Darwin Downing, attorney; Craig Justice, board of supervisors; Kathy Kooiker, recorder; Doug Miller, board of supervisors; and Jim Oaks, sheriff.

Elected officials

The supervisors approved 2-1 salary increases of 50% for elected officials, half of the recommended amount by the comp board; supervisor Austin Taylor voted nay.

The auditor, treasurer, attorney, recorder and supervisors all received a 2% increase from a recommended 4%. For the auditor and treasurer, that amounts to an increase of $1,358.30 per year, county attorney $2,453.43 per year, recorder $1,357.29 per year and the supervisors $681.89 per year; the chairman of the board also receives a $1,000 per year stipend.

The position of sheriff received a 3% increase, half of the recommended 6%, an increase of $2,936.71 per year.

Deputies

Deputies to the elected officials received a 50% increase of the compensation board’s recommendation by a 2-1 vote; Taylor voted no.

Deputies salaries are based on a percentage of the elected officials. Those working in the auditor, treasurer and recorder offices received a 2% raise, except for one new employee in the treasurer office who was bumped up in pay. Deputy sheriff Brian Akers received a 3% raise.

Non-union employees

Supervisors approved 3-0 raises for non-union employees at various amounts.

Jodi Carson, clerk at the sheriff’s office, and Amy Swanson, sheriff assistant clerk, received a 4% increase, half of the recommended amount from the compensation board. For Carson, that is an additional $1,926.41 per year, and Swanson an increase of $0.84 an hour.

Richard Thomas, part time deputy who fills in as needed received 0%.

In the courthouse, hourly custodians Russ Johnson and Janice McCoy received a 2% raise, while custodian Manuel Cisneros Gomez received a 10% raise to bring him to $20.20 an hour; the supervisors cited the good work of Cisneros Gomez as a reason for the larger increase.

Maki Barber in the recorder’s office received a 2% increase, for an additional $0.34 an hour.

In the treasurer’s office, Esmeralda Elizondo increased $4 an hour, due to an increase in job responsibilities.

Newly hired assistant attorney Johanna Olson and as-needed attorney assistant Jeannie Robbins were given a 0% increase. Chris Dorsey, attorney’s office manager, received a 2% increase.

In the engineer’s office, engineer David Carroll, who is on contract, requested no pay increase. Corey Eckels, engineer technician, received a 5% increase, due to an increase in responsibilities. Secondary roads office manager Jill Curnes received a 5% increase, in part due to taking on secretary and treasurer responsibilities with the Clarke County Landfill Commission, who will pay 3% of the increase back to secondary roads. Mark Watsabaugh, road maintenance supervisor, received a 2% increase.

Other non-union employees

Some non-union employees who are governed by their own board were not considered by the compensation board for pay raises - Veterans Affairs, Conservation, Assessor, Emergency Management and Public Health. Betty Lawson, mental health advocate for the court system, did not get an increase.

A resolution to appoint a budget director for fiscal year 2024-25 was approved 2-1; Taylor voted nay. Auditor Janice White currently serves as budget director, and the compensation board recommended a yearly stipend of $4,500, up $1,500 from fiscal year 2023-24. Taylor said he would prefer to see the amount stay where it was previously. Supervisor Dean Robins said he had offered the job to anyone who would want it, but so far no one has.

Public comment prior to the agenda items included asking the supervisors to look at comparable jobs and pay around the community, suggested looking at eliminating unnecessary staff/reducing hours, and having staff pay a larger percentage of their health insurance.

Candra Brooks

A native of rural Union County, Candra holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from Simpson College and an Associate's Degree in Accounting from SWCC. She has been at the Osceola newspaper since October 2013, working as office manager before transitioning to the newsroom in spring 2022.