Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Apr 23, 2014

Board to recommend salaries for Jefferson County employees

By DIANE VANCE, Ledger staff writer | Dec 05, 2012

Jefferson County Compensation Board meets for the first time regarding fiscal year 2013-14 at 9 a.m. Dec. 14, in the conference room on third floor of Jefferson County Courthouse.

Six community members are appointed to four-year terms to sit on the compensation board, which studies about 25 factors to make salary recommendations to Jefferson County Board of Supervisors.

“We make the recommendation, and it’s up to the supervisors to accept or adjust it,” said Mel Allen, manager at Arnold Motor Supply and a compensation board member for about 16 years.

“We look at salaries of county employees in neighboring counties of our size, we look at where we rank in population compared to other counties in the state, and each board member represents a different county department so we each look more closely at comparable departments for comparison,” he said. “For instance, I represent the sheriff’s office.”

The compensation board only makes salary recommendations for elected county officials, but raises eventually trickle down into their departments.

Last year, the board deviated from its general guideline of recommending an across the board raise for all county officials equally.

The board came to the concluding recommendation for a 2.5 percent salary increase for all county officials except a 3 percent increase for the sheriff, because it had more ground to make up.

Last year, with Jefferson County ranking 44th in the state by population, the Jefferson County sheriff ranked 53rd in salary.

About a month later, in January, the board of supervisors trimmed the recommendation to a 2 percent salary increase for county officials in fiscal year 2012 and the sheriff at 2.4 percent.

Supervisor Dick Reed did not support lowering the compensation board’s recommendation, but was out-voted by supervisors Steve Burgmeier and Lee Dimmitt.

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