116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — Johnson County supervisors say they are looking at salary increases between 2 percent and 4 percent rather than the 18 percent recommended by the county compensation board.
Four of the county’s five supervisors on Wednesday said they would support raising supervisor salaries 2.25 percent and the salaries of other county elected officials 4.42 percent.
Supervisor Lisa Green-Douglass said she supports an across-the-board 4.42 percent increase for all elected officials.
The county’s compensation board last month recommended 18 percent salary increases to keep elected official salaries competitive with other counties and to be in line with state law changes for the auditor and sheriff offices.
Supervisors, by law, can approve the compensation board’s recommendation or decrease it but cannot increase it. The salary increases would begin in fiscal year 2023, which starts July 1.
The supervisors discussed the increase during a work session Wednesday morning, but formal approval will come in March when the board votes on the budget.
If the board approves the 2.25 percent increase for supervisors and 4.42 percent increase for other officials, salaries would become:
- County attorney: $160,192 to $167,273
- Auditor, recorder, treasurer: $116,224 to $121,361
- Board of Supervisors: $87,168 to $89,129
- Sheriff: $162,912 to $170,113
Supervisors proposed the increases based on raises for county employees. The 2.25 percent is the annual income adjustment for county employees, with department heads getting an average 2.16 percent increase for merit raises.
Those two percentages added together is the proposed 4.42 percent increase for elected officials, which Green-Douglass said is in line with what the board has done in previous years.
Last year, supervisors approved a 2.75 percent increase for all elected officials.
Green-Douglass said she wants to see the same increase for all elected officials. Supervisors in 2015 began the process of bringing supervisor pay closer to 75 percent of other elected officials.
Now, in the current fiscal year, supervisors make three-quarters of the salaries for county auditor, recorder and treasurer.
“If we got a different percentage raise than what they got, then that gap would start increasing again,” Green-Douglass said.
Green-Douglass said salaries were a “painful vote” in the five years it took to get supervisor salaries up to three-quarters of other elected officials.
Supervisor Rod Sullivan said he was “never a big fan of the 75 percent” pay ratio. He brought up how the job pays better than it did previously and that it’s enough money to attract people to run for the board.
“(The salary) doesn't really have to be tied to the other elected officials, and we've added so many staff in the last 10 years that the job has changed,” said Sullivan, the county’s longest serving supervisor.
“And frankly, the job is just a lot easier now that there's this robust communication staff, for example.”
Linn County’s compensation board, citing last year’s freeze of county elected officials’ salaries, recommended a nearly 12 percent increase for the sheriff and 8 percent increases for other elected officials.
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