116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Johnson County Compensation Board unanimously approves supervisor pay raise recommendation
IOWA CITY - An unprecedented requested pay increase for Johnson County's Board of Supervisors has moved one step closer to fruition.
The Johnson County Compensation Board voted unanimously Thursday to recommend a 4.5 percent increase in supervisor pay for next fiscal year.
Members of the board said the move is the first step in bringing supervisor pay closer to 75 percent of other elected officials, even though county supervisors say they easily put more than 40 hours a week into the job.
'I think we need to recognize the work the Board of Supervisors are putting into their job, and they're putting more than 40 hours a week into their work,” compensation board member Misty Rebik said.
Last week the board unanimously approved to request the 4.5 percent raise, a move members of the board say is unprecedented. If approved, supervisor pay would increase from $56,678 to $59,254 in fiscal 2016. If approved for the next five years, county supervisors would be making $70,783 by fiscal 2020.
Some members of the compensation board expressed an interest in bypassing the five-year plan and going ahead with a lump-sum pay increase that would immediately bring the Board of Supervisors' pay rate up to 75 percent of the county's auditor, recorder and treasurer, who each make $82,421 a year. But ultimately the decision was made to continue with the phased-in plan to allow flexibility for future compensation boards.
The compensation board also approved recommending a 3 percent pay increase for the county auditor, recorder, treasurer, sheriff and attorney. The latter two elected officials make $116,987 and $135,687 a year, respectively.
Ultimately the Board of Supervisors will vote on all the pay increases, including their own, with the deadline Feb. 5 to publish a budget.
Supervisor Terrence Neuzil said there wasn't an exact science behind the request for a 4.5 percent raise, but rather what the board felt was appropriate to bring supervisor pay up that 75 percent threshold while still keeping board members part-time to allow for flexibility of hours.
Neuzil admitted that such a request will not please everyone.
'It is an absolute no-win,” he said. 'You give yourself a raise, it is looked at as greed.”
That said, several of the county's other elected officials said during the meeting that the board's requested pay increase was appropriate.
According to a list of the 20 most-populous Iowa counties in fiscal 2015 on the Iowa State Association of Counties website, Johnson County's supervisors are fourth-highest in terms of compensation. It is also the fourth-most- populous county in the state.
Supervisors in Polk, Linn and Story counties are paid $104,717, $98,885 and $66,385, respectively. Supervisors in these three counties are paid the equivalent of their county's respective auditor, recorder and treasurer, according to the data.
Polk, Linn and Story counties are the only three on the list of the 20 most populous in the state to pay their supervisors at a rate equivalent their other elected officials.
Outside of those three counties, Scott County is the only other Iowa County with a larger population than Johnson County that doesn't pay its supervisors the equivalent of the county's auditor, recorder and treasurer. Scott County supervisors make $41,600 - roughly half the county's other elected officials.
Johnson County supervisor pay is equal to roughly 68 percent of the $82,422 paycheck for the county auditor, recorder and treasurer.
If the five-year goal is met, the supervisors would bring that percentage up to roughly 75 percent by fiscal 2020.
The compensation board consists of two members appointed to represent the Board of Supervisors and five members to represent the county auditor, treasurer, recorder, sheriff and attorney.
The supervisors can approve or reduce a pay raise, but they cannot increase it.
Last year Johnson County's supervisors approved a 3 percent pay increase, which coincided with the 3 percent increase granted for the county auditor, recorder and treasurer.