The Greene County supervisors are in agreement that county elected officials aside from themselves should receive the 3 percent wage increase recommended by the compensation board. They disagree, though, on how much of a raise they should give themselves.
Until recent years, the supervisors could make only across the board changes if they didn’t accept the compensation board’s recommendation. They could not increase other salaries without increasing their own. Now, though, the supervisors can consider their own increase separately. Last year, they accepted a recommendation for 3 percent raises for the other officials but raised their own salaries 2 percent.
Causing discomfort for supervisors Dawn Rudolph and Mick Burkett is the fact that secondary roads and sheriff’s office union employees will receive only a 2.5 percent increase per their contract. Rudolph said she would be favor a 2 or 2.5 percent increase. “I don’t think we should go more than secondary roads,” she said.
Supervisor Tom Contner has not favored an increase in the supervisors’ pay since he was elected four years ago. He has, in past years, written a check to the county for the amount of increase above his starting salary. He plans to vote against any increase for the supervisors again.
Supervisor Guy Richardson favors a 3 percent increase, saying the supervisors should be confident that they’ve done a good job and accept the 3 percent raise as a merit raise.
“An increase in our salary won’t be seen as a comment on our job performance,” board chair John Muir said. “The public doesn’t see the details of what we do. They just see us increasing our salary as a money grab.”
“I wish more of the public would pay attention to everything we do,” Richardson responded. “I don’t think we should punish ourselves because the public doesn’t understand what we do.”
Comments on the various boards they serve on and the driving they do to attend meetings followed. Some of the organizations are able to pay mileage to attend their meetings. When Rudolph said she isn’t paid for mileage, Richardson encouraged her to put in a claim for mileage reimbursement by the county. “You should be paid mileage. If you’re going for the county, you should ask the county for mileage. You’re entitled,” Richardson said.
A decision on the compensation board’s recommendation is on the supervisors’ agenda for next Monday, Jan. 26. “It would speak volumes if Tom (Contner) would agree with the rest of us that we’re doing a good enough job to get a raise,” Muir said.
A 3 percent increase would take the supervisors’ salary from $26,335 to $27,125. A 2.5 percent increase would put their individual salaries at $26,993. The salary increase will be effective July 1.