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Supervisors Vote on Pay Increase for Elected County Officials
February 8, 2018

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The Palo Alto County Board of Supervisors considered the salary recommendation by the Compensation Board during their regular meeting on Tuesday, Feb 5.

During the meeting of the Palo Alto County Compensation Board on Dec. 13, 2017, a salary recommendation was made of four percent for elected officials beginning July 1, 2018.

The proposed salary increase would look as follows:

Auditor- Current Salary:$ 57,238; Proposed Increase: 4%; Recommended Salary: $ 59,528

County Attorney- Current Salary: $ 79,155; Proposed increase: 4% + 3,600; Recommended Salary: $ 85,921

Recorder- Current Salary: $ 57,238; Proposed increase: 4%; Recommended Salary: $ 59,528

Sheriff- Current Salary: $ 77,474; Proposed Increase: 4%; Recommended Salary:$ 80,573

Treasurer- Current Salary: $ 57,238; Proposed Increase: 4%; Recommended Salary: $ 59,528

Supervisors- Current Salary: $ 26,712; Proposed Increase: 4%; Recommended Salary: $ 27,780.

Supervisor Linus Solberg made a motion for a two percent increase for elected officials excluding the Supervisors. With some deliberation, Supervisor Craig Merrill then made a motion for a 2.5% raise for elected officials excluding the Supervisors.

In a roll call vote, Supervisor Keith Wirtz, Supervisor Linus Solberg, Supervisor Craig Merrill and Supervisor Chairman Ron Graettinger all voted aye for a 2.5% raise for elected officials excluding the Supervisors with Supervisor Roger Faulstick voting nay stating, "I feel the all elected officials, including the Supervisors, should be included in the vote."

With a 2.5% salary increase this will increase the salary of elected officials, excluding the Supervisors as follows:

Auditor- Current Salary: $ 57,238; New Salary: $ 58,668.95.

Attorney- Current Salary: $ 79,155; New Salary: $ 81,133.88

Recorder- Current Salary: $ 57,238; New Salary: $ 58,668.95

Sheriff- Current Salary: $ 77,474; New Salary: $ 79,410.85.

Treasure- Current Salary: $ 57,238; New Salary: $ 58,668.95

"I make a motion that the Supervisors do not get a raise this coming year," Solberg stated. "I feel that we all know what the salary is when were run for the position and we just don't need a raise every year."

"I think that with the Supervisors salary being ranked 85th in the State and for what we have been through this past year, we've done our job," Faulstick stated. "If we don't take a raise, it makes us look like we didn't do our job. A 2.5% increase is not that much."

With little further deliberation, a roll call vote of Wirtz, Faulstick, Merrill and Graettinger all voting aye, Solberg was the sole nay vote. The 2.5% increase for the Supervisors raises their salary from $26,712 to $27,379.80.

In other business, Drainage Engineer Rick Hopper presented cost estimates for improvements on Drainage District 57 to the Supervisors as well as eight landowners.

"Option 1 is for a 1/2-inch drainage coefficient. The estimated total cost is $289,090," Hopper began. "Based on 326 acres, the average cost per acre would be $886.78 - $71 per acre per year for 20 years or $115 per acre per year for 10 years.

"Option 2 is for a one-inch drainage coefficient. The estimated total cost is $342,406," Hopper continued. "Based on 326 acres, the average cost per acre would be $1,050.32 - $84 per acre per year for 20 years or $137 per acre per year for 10 years."

At the same time Hopper also recommended improving the Lateral 1 tile in Drainage District 48, which is the common outlet for DD 57. Estimated cost is $196,910. Based on 129 acres, the average cost per acre would be $152.64.

The Supervisors accepted Hopper's recommendations and hearing date has not been determined.

Palo Alto County Engineer Walter Davis-Oeth presented a partial acquisition contract for approval with Janelle Purdy during a conference call. Unanimous approval was given.

In final business, the Supervisors set the public hearing date for the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2018-2019 for March 6 at 9:00 a.m.

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