Friday, August 17, 2012

Commissioner raises to be discussed Monday

County meeting to include committee recommendation


By KATHERINE WUTZ
Express Staff Writer

Questions regarding raises for county elected officials could finally be answered during a Blaine County meeting on Monday, when a citizen committee is set to make its recommendations for salary increases.

The question of raises for elected officials—including Blaine County commissioners—began last month, when County Administrator Derek Voss and County Human Resources Generalist Susan Potucek told commissioners that, according to the county's own performance evaluation standards, many elected officials should be making far more than their current salaries.

The most striking difference was in the commissioners' salaries, which are currently $55,434. An analysis showed that the commissioners should be making roughly $90,147, based on job responsibilities.

Commissioners balked at that increase, capping the amount budgeted for their salaries at $76,966 each and asking Potucek to form a nine-member citizens' committee that would form a more complete recommendation.

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The committee has been asked to work with a pool of $90,000. The tentative county budget includes raises of $21,532 each for the commissioners, $7,811 for the clerk, $6,508 for the sheriff and $10,000 for the coroner.

Potucek said in an e-mail last week that the committee was formed of representatives from businesses and the general public who contacted her, saying they were interested in being part of the committee.

Commissioners have been mum on the committee's work so far, saying they wished to remain "distanced" from any recommendations the committee might give.

The committee's recommendations will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 20, at the Blaine County Courthouse in Hailey. A final salary decision will be made when the final budget is set on Sept. 4.

Kate Wutz: kwutz@mtexpress.com




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