Compensation Board recommends pay increases

The Webster County Compensation Board met Wednesday to set salary recommendations for the county’s elected officials.

The seven-person board recommended salary increases for all officials – about 5 percent for the sheriff, auditor, treasurer, recorder and attorney; and 0.9 percent for the Webster County supervisors.

The aim is to keep the salaries at about 17th highest in the state among Iowa county officials, Chairman Dale Struecker said. Webster County has the 17th highest population in Iowa.

The salaries have fallen behind that benchmark in recent years, said board member Ed O’Leary.

“My suggestion would be a 3 percent standard raise, and a 2 or 3 percent one-time jump to close that gap,” he said. “A 5 to 6 percent total increase.”

The county attorney’s salary, in particular, had fallen behind, said Struecker. Her current salary is 26th highest in Iowa.

“I can give you an example of the kind of hours she works. She talked to our Daybreak Rotary a couple weeks ago at 7 o’clock in the morning, and she’d gotten home that morning at 3 o’clock in the morning from Des Moines,” said O’Leary. “She’s a dedicated person.”

An increase from $92,131 to $97,000 was recommended for the Webster County attorney position, about a 5 percent increase.

The board recommended to keep the auditor, treasurer, and recorder salaries the same, with an increase from $58,677 to $62,000, a little over 5 percent. The auditor’s salary is currently 24th highest in the state, treasurer is 22nd, and recorder is 21st.

An increase from $78,273 to $82,000 was proposed for the Webster County sheriff position, just under 5 percent. The sheriff’s salary is currently 21st in the state.

Smaller increases were recommended for the supervisors. The base pay for the supervisors would go from $34,697 to $35,000, or a 0.9 percent increase.

The salary for the supervisor chairman would be increased to $36,000. Previously, the chairman had been paid $780 more than the other supervisors, or $35,477.

The cost of living increased by 1.5 percent this year, said Struecker. The supervisors’ salary is 18th highest in the state.

The increases are only the Compensation Board’s recommendations, and must be approved by the Webster County Board of Supervisors. Struecker will report the findings to the board on Tuesday. He said the board can lower the proposed salaries, but can’t raise them.