Shelby County Supervisors approve 5% wage increase on 2-to 1 vote
January 9th, 2013 by Ric Hanson
The Shelby County Board of Supervisors, Tuesday, approved a five-percent increase in wages for elected officials, with just a few exceptions. Tim Meyer, Treasurer of the Shelby County Compensation Board, requested the increase for elected officials except for Shelby County Sheriff Mark Hervey, who will see a 6 percent increase. Meyer told the supervisors his first year on the board in 2011, that Shelby county officials were trailing the rest of the counties considerably, ranking 89th as compared to the population at 65th. The Compensation board decided in 2011 to ask for the increase in wages and continue a plan to raise the compensation closer to the population. Meyer said the 5 percent increase agreed upon by the Compensation Board prior being recommended for approval by the Supervisors.
Meyer said the county officials do a great job and should be commended for the work they do. Supervisor Steve Kenkel compared elected officials’ wages in Shelby County and four other counties in the area prior to the Boards’ vote. Kenkel said “Shelby County population ranking is 64 and property tax is 63 so we are right where we need to be. But I wanted to look at the levy rate where we are with taxes. The levy rate of the counties around us varies to 37.3 and we are 30.3. The state average is 34 so we are real low in the property tax levy. Property tax in our 5 year average what our change has been is 2.4%, or about half of the state average.”
He said also, the County will be debt free by next fiscal year, and he reminded the Board other County officials received a $1,500 raise this year. Kenkel said “If we weren’t doing anything at all you have to look at that and factor that in there that’s $12,000 subtract off of there. You are looking at above and beyond a 1.5% increase about what the other employees got. Charlie and I said we would not take a raise the 1st year if this is approved, that’s $1,279. If you take that savings out, we are looking at additional cost for the county of 1.1%.”
Supervisor Roger Schmitz said he would not vote for a salary increase, because he is not better than the other two supervisors. Kenkel refuted that argument, saying “What I wanted to do was approve it and Roger get his now and wait 6 months the next year and then enacts Charlie and I in. That way we end up with two and a half and he ends up with 5.” A motion to approve the increase passed however, by a vote of 2-to 1, with Schmitz voting no, because he felt everyone should be the same on the board.