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Marshall County Compensation Board recommends 4 percent raise for elected officials

The Marshall County Compensation Board approved by 5-1 vote last week a recommendation for a 4 percent across the board salary increases in county elected officials ‘ salaries.

The compensation board meets every year to decide what increase, if any, the Marshall County Auditor and Recorder, Attorney, Sheriff, Treasurer and supervisor positions merit.

Voting for raises were members Doug Beals, Mark Braga, Tom McCoy, Gary McKibben and Robert Thomas, all of Marshalltown. Voting against was Tom Swartz of Marshalltown.

Beals represents the auditor/recorder, Braga the sheriff and McCoy the county attorney. McKibben and Thomas represent the supervisors.

Swartz represents the treasurer.

Swartz is a local businessman who served as supervisor from 1975 through 1980.

He objected to the process establishing salaries which led to his vote against.

“I am disappointed because it starts from where they are now, estimating that the salaries have been correct all of those years and it has not,” he said. “I represent the treasurer. The reason I voted against is looking at the salaries of county officials compared to the state, Marshall County ranks 15th in the state in population. Other county elected officials excluding treasurer, rank in terms of pay between 19th and 30th. The county treasurer ranks 44th. There is no rational explanation.”

Swartz said he did a comparison of four counties similar in population to Marshall County. “Our county treasurer falls $8,000 to $10,000 below those other four counties with similar populations. I do not fault votes cast by the other board members. Everyone is doing what they believe is correct. I just disagree with them. I think the supervisors should be looking at equalizing pay increases’. There were a couple of major jumps a couple of years ago, and the treasurer has been left out.”

Compensation Board chair Tom McCoy, a local businessman, has served on the board for more than 20 years.

“We look at comparables,” he said. “That is, what private employers pay and what public employers pay for various positions that might be similar to an elected official,” he said. “Full or part-time status, types of benefits, size of county and so on.”

McCoy said in evaluating the county attorney’s salary he looked at pay and benefits for other county attorneys serving in counties similar in size to Marshall County and those in private practice.

“We then make a recommendation based on what we think is fair. We understand when we make the recommendation, it impacts the county budget, meaning more funds have to also be set aside for Iowa Public Employee Retirement System, Social Security, and so on.”

McCoy said he and other board members are good citizens who want to do what is right.

“We want our county officials to be compensated accordingly, so that it motivates quality and skilled individuals to run for office.”

The compensation board’s recommendation will be evaluated at the 9:05 a.m. Jan. 21 regular board of supervisors meeting said auditor/recorder Nan Benson.

Marshall County elected officials ‘ salaries

• Auditor/Recorder: 4 percent increase ($2,898.35); current salary $72,458.74.

• Attorney: 4 percent increase ($4,263.30); current salary $106,582.49.

• Sheriff: 4 percent increase ($3,611.66); current salary $90,291,51.

• Supervisors: 4 percent increase ($1,494.66); current salary $37,366.45.

• Treasurer: 4 percent increase ($2,495.16); current salary $62,379,07.

The recommended salary increases total $14,763.13.

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Contact Mike Donahey

at 641-753-6611 or

mdonahey@timesrepublican.com.

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