County set proposed department head increases

Board of Supervisors
Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     Jones County department heads now have a better idea of what the county is proposing for salary increases.

     The Jones County Supervisors approved salary increases for budgetary purposes during their Feb. 20 meeting. Department heads with and without staff supervision were the topic of discussion.

     The board spoke with the county’s HR director, Mike Galloway, via conference call during their meeting to discuss the compensation analysis Galloway put together for comparisons.

     “There are a lot of variables,” Galloway said of differing job descriptions and assigned duties.

     Based on Jones County’s population base, Galloway chose five counties with larger and five counties smaller populations.

     He said there were three positions he felt were pretty comparable in the study: Community Services, GIS and IT.

     “I think they’re compensated fairly,” suggested Galloway of the information he compiled.

     In terms of Public Health, he said it was hard to find a comparison.

     “You have a unique position,” he told the board, “because most counties I work with have a Public Health department and employees in that department. “It’s hard to compare your position with other positions in other counties.”

     Galloway said the same could be true with Environmental Health. “That takes on a lot of different job duties in the county,” he said. “I need to know those duties performed on a regular basis,” he said in order to provide a comparable analysis.

     Looking over the salary figures Galloway provided to the board, there was some discussion as to how low or high to go with Fiscal Year 2019 increases.

     “That’s why we asked for the survey,” said Supervisor Jon Zirkelbach, “whether you like it or not. These are the facts.”

     Supervisor Wayne Manternach said no matter how high they go with suggested increases now, they’re “never going to catch up to the study” conducted by Galloway.

     With the JETS director position, the board approved a 3.3 percent increase after Supervisor Joe Oswald’s 3.5 percent motion failed for lack of a second.

     With elected officials’ salaries proposed to see a 3.6 percent increase, Manternach felt there needed to be a distinction between elected officials and appointed department heads.

     For the Secondary Roads/County Engineer, the board approved a 3.3 percent increase.

     The same is true for Conservation Director, at 3.3 percent. It was noted that in the past, the Conservation Board has approved a higher increase for their director. County Auditor Janine Sulzner said that they have authority to do so, but have to utilize their own funds to make up the difference.

     It took two votes to finally approve a 5 percent increase for Mental Health/Community Service Director. The first motion and second for 3.3 percent failed.

     “That’s no where near catching her up,” commented Manternach of the original 8 percent increase in the proposed budget. “I don’t support that.” Manternach was also opposed to the 5 percent motion, saying while it was closer to what he would like to see, it’s not where it should be.

     “We can’t make it all up in one year,” said Supervisor Ned Rohwedder. “But this at least demonstrates that we’re trying.”

     A 3.3 percent increase was approved for Senior Dining Director.

     “She always sticks to her budget,” said Zirkelbach.

     “And she’s very dedicated,” added Rohwedder of Director Lisa Tallman’s role.

     Environmental Health was approved at 3.25 percent.

     Veterans Affairs Administrator was approved at 3.25 percent.

     Public Health was approved at 3.25 percent.

     “That’s a part-time position,” said Manternach. “And I don’t know of very many part-time positions that pay the same as a full-time job.” (Public Health’s FY 2018 salary was $36,031.)

     IT Coordinator was approved for a 7 percent increase. The proposed budget showed an 11.62 percent ask.

     “We can’t make it all up in one year,” Rohwedder said of getting IT to the salary level it deserves. But he said considering IT Coordinator Lisa Mootz “is literally on call 24/7,” Rohwedder said he would support 7 percent.

     Manternach was opposed, with similar sentiments in his comments regarding Community Services. “It should be made up in one year,” he countered.

     A 4 percent increase was approved for GIS Coordinator.

     Zirkelbach suggested the county department heads have access to the compensation study “so they know where we’re coming from” in terms of proposed increases.


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