Supervisors table action on elected official pay increase

T-R PHOTO BY NICK BAUR From left to right, Marshall County Sheriff Joel Phillips, Chief Deputy Ben Veren, alongside Supervisors Carol Hibbs, Jarret Heil, and Steve Salasek discuss possible county official compensation increases during a special session at the sheriff’s office on Monday, Jan. 23.

During a special session Monday, the Marshall County Board of Supervisors decided to table action on a recommendation by the Marshall County Compensation Board to increase pay by 10 percent for the county attorney, auditor/recorder, treasurer, and supervisors alongside a 20 percent pay increase for Sheriff Joel Phillips.

The chief deputy, chief jailer and first assistant county attorney would also see increases in keeping with state law should the supervisors act on the recommendation.

The decision to table the pay increases came after a morning budget meeting which saw county officials become wary of the way budgets for the upcoming fiscal year were taking shape.

“After compiling all the numbers for our budget this year of every department’s budget requests, it came at a pretty high amount,” said Board Chairman Jarrett Heil. “We requested that those department heads go back and rework the budgets to help us come to a more palatable number for the taxpayers.”

While Heil said wages were “overwhelmingly the number one thing that was discussed” at the meeting and “Marshall County elected officials and employees seem to be much lower than their average counterparts from other counties,” he also added that the board is “committed to close that gap and get there,” and the question for the county is, “How do we do it in the most responsible way to the taxpayer?”

Supervisor Carol Hibbs echoed Heil’s sentiments.

“My priorities are people this year, and I think we need to focus on what we can do to get into a competitive range for things,” she said.

Supervisor Steve Salasek reiterated the board’s plans to increase compensation but reaffirmed the need to keep it within budgetary constraints.

“We’re all on the same level here on trying to take care of the people that we have in the county,” Salasek said. “We asked everybody to kind of go back over their budgets and see what they can trim and see if we can get our folks a little closer to where they really need to be.”

The board adjourned the meeting with plans to reconvene in a special session at 1 p.m. on Feb. 3, following the morning budget meeting.

Heil provided additional rationale for the tabling of the measure.

“If we set this precedent today, [it] kind of gets the cart before the horse of the rest of the budget,” Heil said. “I think we will feel much better and comfortable with that decision, as it rolls forward on, after that meeting on Feb. 3, than we would have, [had we] made that decision today.”


Contact Nick Baur at 641-753-6611 or nbaur@timesrepublican.com.


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