County Board approves salary increases

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     The Jones County Supervisors had a tough decision to make Feb. 7 during their regular meeting: salary increases.

     There are several different categories of county employees: elected officials (whose salary increase is proposed by the Compensation Board), exempt department heads, exempt supervisory positions, non-exempt supervisory positions responsible for 1-10 employees, and elected officials’ deputies (whose salary is tied to elected officials).

     The Compensation Board proposed the following increases for elected officials: 4 percent for supervisors, treasurer, and recorder; 4.5 percent for attorney, and 5 percent for auditor and sheriff. Supervisor Wayne Manternach made a motion to accept the Compensation Board’s recommendation.

     “I feel they came in and did their due diligence with the information that was sent out to them,” commented Maternach. “This year, it’s not a huge spread with the percentages. It’s very equal.”

     Manternach’s motion failed due to lack of a second.

     Supervisor Joe Oswald made a motion to go with 90 percent of the Compensation Board’s recommendation.

     “I hope some day we can get to the point where we don’t have this kind of increase,” said Oswald. “I don’t want to get to the point where we have a huge increase every year.”

     Oswald’s motion failed due to lack of a second.

     Supervisor Ned Rohwedder made a motion to reduce the recommended salary increase of elected officials by 25 percent. His motion was seconded by Supervisor Lloyd Eaken. The vote passed 3-2, with Oswald and Manternach opposed.

     “I appreciate the work the Compensation Board did, but I feel the increases are still fairly large,” commented Rohwedder, who suggested the cost of living index lies at around 2.1 percent.

     Anticipating some negativity, Supervisor Jon Zirkelbach asked that anyone with issues on the decisions made come directly to the supervisors.

     “If you have problems, come directly to us,” he said, “so there is no low morale.” Zirkelbach said if there is another way to go about suggested wage increases, let the board know.

     Rohwedder said he was upset with some employees feeling as though a 3 percent increase “isn’t a raise at all.” He said that does not mean the board values one employee less than the other.

     “Three percent is a decent wage,” he said.

     For Kathy Koerperich, JETS manager, the board approved the proposed increase at 4.44 percent, with Zirklebach and Rohwedder opposed.

     “Kathy is grossly underpaid for the level of responsibility she has,” voiced Auditor Janine Sulzner.

     The board approved an increase of 3.5 percent vs. the proposed 4.5 percent for Engineer Derek Snead. Manternach and Oswald were opposed.

     After two failed votes of a suggested 3.4 and 4 percent increases for Conservation Director Brad Mormann, a 3 percent increase was approved. Oswald was opposed.

     “It’s tough giving raises that are higher than the elected officials are getting,” said Manternach, who opposed the 4 percent.

     For Community Services (Mental Health) Director Deb Schultz’s position (Schultz will be retiring at the end of the fiscal year.), a 3.5 percent increase was approved for budgetary purposes, with Maternach opposed. The initial 3 percent failed due to lack of a second.

     “This position is completely different because of the amount of education that is now required,” voiced Manternach. He made sure people understood that the proposed increase would not be applied to Schultz, but the new person coming in to fill the role. A 19.3 percent increase was proposed.

     An increase of 3 percent was approved unanimously for Senior Dining Director Lisa Tallman. It was initially proposed at 2 percent.

     “She should at least get what the union is getting,” suggested Oswald.

     A 3.5 percent increase was approved for Environmental Health, Veterans Affairs, Public Health, IT, and GIS department heads. Manternach opposed.

     Motions for 3 and 3.25 percent increases failed.

     “Some deserve more than 3 percent,” said Oswald.

     The Assistant County Attorney, Michael Lang, position was suggested by County Attorney Phil Parsons to go from 30 hours a week to 40. That would change the salary from $50,000 to $70,000.

     The board approved the change, under the stipulation that the department looks at taking on substance abuse cases/hearings.

     The board took no action on the increases for the deputy county sheriff, as well as deputy auditors, treasurers, and the deputy recorder. Those salary increases are directly tied to corresponding elected official’s increase.

     The board approved a 3.5 percent increase for the Secondary Road maintenance supervisor, over the proposed 4 percent. Manternach was opposed.

     A 3.5 percent increase was also approved for the Sheriff’s Jail Administrator, Communications Supervisor, and office manager; as well as for Secondary Roads EIT and Assistant Engineer; Conservation Ranger; and Mental Health Case Management Supervisor Lucia Herman. Manternach was opposed.

     A 3.5 percent increase was approved for the county attorney’s secretary, Secondary Road office manager, Conservation Naturalist and office manager, and Community Services social workers and case managers. Manternach was opposed.

     A 3 percent increase for JETS and Second Dining employees was approved.


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