Comp Board recommends 4.5 percent increase for elected officials

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     A 4.5 percent across-the-board salary increase was recommended and approved by the Jones County Compensation Board during the Dec. 19 meeting for county elected officials.

     During their morning schedule, the board met with the following elected officials to hear brief presentations regarding their duties of their respective offices:

     • Sheri Jones, recorder

     • Phil Parsons, county attorney; and Kris Lyons, assistant county attorney

     • Janine Sulzner, auditor

     • Amy Picray, treasurer

     • Greg Graver, sheriff

     • Board of Supervisors (Lloyd Eaken, Ned Rohwedder, Jon Zirkelbach, and Joe Oswald)

     Salary recommendations were then discussed following the presentations in preparation for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

     Those who serve on the Compensation Board include:

     • Mike Deutmeyer

     • Nels Petersen

     • Patty Manuel

     • Darrick Hall

     • Kris Gobeli

     • Abram Tubbs

     • Phil Owen (not present)

     The Board’s vote to recommend a 4.5 percent salary increase to the Board of Supervisors for budgetary purposes was approved 5-1, with Deutmeyer opposed.

     Last year, the board proposed a 4 percent increase across the board. With a 25 percent increase in the cost of living, Tubbs said that was a good guideline to start from this time around.

     Manuel and Gobeli both wanted to see Sulzner’s salary increase above the rest of the elected officials to reflect the broad scope of work Sulzner performs. In fact, Manuel initially recommended 5 percent across-the-board, while Gobeli wanted to see 6 percent for the auditor and sheriff.

     “I respect the talent we have in the county,” said Manuel. She said Jones County doesn’t see issues with its elected officials like other counties in Eastern Iowa.

     “We want to see these people run again (for office),” echoed Tubbs.

     While the county attorney position sought a 15 percent increase, Petersen felt it was too high. “That’s a crazy number,” he said. “It’s the highest paid office in the county. All offices do very good work, and I have no doubt Kris (Lyons) will continue to do good work.”

     Tubbs said Lyons ran for the office of county attorney “knowing exactly what the compensation was.”

     Manuel also spoke of Graver’s job, adding that he and his office take on a lot of liability throughout the county. “He’s also well respected across the state,” she added.

     Hall reminded the Compensation Board that they were dealing with county taxpayers’ money when it comes to salary increases. “For me, it seems like a healthy increase,” he said of the suggested 5 or 6 percent. Hall said he was more inclined to approve an across-the-board increase versus a higher increase for certain elected officials.

     Deutmeyer initially suggested 4 percent, saying it was “more than enough for all of them this year.

     “You need to look at workload and production,” continued Deutmeyer. “We’ve done well with some of them.”



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