Nearly all of Sarpy County's elected officials are getting a raise.
The five-member County Board voted 3-2 on Tuesday to approve higher salaries for the following officials eligible for raises: the assessor, sheriff, treasurer, clerk of the district court, county clerk, county attorney, register of deeds, county engineer and the board members themselves.
The one-time pay raises, which range from 4 percent to 8.5 percent, will go into effect in 2015. Cost-of-living increases, tied to inflation, will be awarded in subsequent years of each officeholder's term. Each official is guaranteed between a 1 percent and 3.5 percent cost-of-living increase.
Already addressed: the election commissioner, whose raise was approved in October, and the public defender, who isn't eligible for a raise now because that office runs on a different election cycle.
State law prohibits changing an elected official's salary in the middle of a term, which is why the board schedules pay raises to go into effect after the next election.
Board members hadn't had a pay raise since 2010, and they'll be getting the 4 percent raise in 2015.
The new salaries were recommended by the county's Human Resources Department, which used job descriptions provided by the officials in their analysis.
Human Resources Director Karen Buche said the salaries reflect the demands of the jobs, which were subjected to the same scrutiny as any other position in the county.
County Board members Jim Thompson of Springfield, Tom Richards of Bellevue and Brenda Carlisle of La Vista voted for the raises. Don Kelly of Papillion and Board Chairman Jim Warren of Gretna voted no, emphasizing the sacrifice inherent in public service.
“Some of you are probably significantly underpaid,” Kelly said. Still, he said, he would have liked to see a smaller increase.
“That's fair to them, and that's fair to the taxpayers that pay their salaries,” he said.
With support from Kelly, Warren suggested cutting County Board members' salaries by 4 percent, as an example, but that proposal was voted down 3-2.
“If you really feel that strongly about it, I suggest you donate (your salary) to charity,” Thompson said.
|Sarpy County salaries|
|County Board members*||$25,091||$26,095||4.00%|
|Clerk of the District Court||$87,084||$91,500||5.07%|
|Register of Deeds||$79,075||$83,000||4.96%|
|*Board chairman gets an extra $1,000|