County Board sets salaries for elected officials
The Portage County Board of Supervisors approved salary compensation for the 2017-20 terms for county clerk, register of deeds, county treasurer and surveyor Tuesday, Feb. 16, giving the positions of clerk and register of deeds increases above 10 percent for the first year and smaller increases each year after.
The board is required to establish the total annual compensation for the earliest time for filing nomination papers for the upcoming term of office, and candidates may file nomination papers on April 15 for the four-year term of 2017-20, thus Tuesday’s action.
James Gifford, District 14, chairman of the Finance Committee, offered an amendment to the salary proposal from the Human Resources Committee, saying Human Resources went immediately from the existing salaries to “market value” at the beginning of the structure while other officials will have to work their way up to that step based on the county’s salary study plan, which still hasn’t been finalized or adopted.
Gifford said the discussion on the study had officials starting with a 1.5 percent annual increase and working up the steps of the plan. “We can implement it (the study) without massive changes in salaries,” he said.
Otherwise, he said, the county will have to cut things from the budget to save money for salaries. “There is a compromise to deal with salaries.”
Board Chair Philip Idsvoog said the county doesn’t have the money to implement the study as proposed, or the proposed elected salaries. “We only have x-number of dollars. We have to get this done (wage increases for all county employees).”
Supervisor Jeff Presley, District 5, said salaries had been modified from the market survey during discussions because there was significant differences between the amounts.
Laura Belanger Tess, county human resources director, said the consultant changed the market value information after receiving additional data. The market rate is the average of people in the job for one to 20 years. “No one is hired at market rate,” she said.
She said the average salary in the area for county clerks is $70,876, for registers of deeds is $70,340 and treasurers is $62,143.
The existing salaries for the four positions are $65,485 for the county clerk, $64,175 for the register of deeds, $64,175 for the treasurer and $15,042 for the surveyor, a part-time position.
The Human Resources recommendation included salaries at the market value of $75,920 for the clerk and register of deeds, $64,896 for the treasurer and $15,080 for the surveyor.
The Finance Committee recommended starting the four positions above the proposed starting salary, with $71,350 for the clerk and register of deeds, which would be a 9.2-percent increase for the clerk and an 11.5-percent increase for the register of deeds; $64,896 for the treasurer, which would be a 1.1-percent increase; and $15,080 for the survey, which would be a 0.25-percent increase.
Several supervisors spoke out against the proposed amendment, saying they couldn’t support it.
“I can’t see it below market value,” said Supervisor Stan Potocki, District 11.
The motion to amend the salaries below the recommendation of Human Resources, lost on an 11-11 vote, with three supervisors excused.
Voting in favor of the amendment were Presley; Gifford; Idsvoog; Perry Pazdernik, District 3; Dave Medin, District 4; Bud Flood, District 6; Dan Dobratz, District 7; Allen Haga, District 14; Charles Gussel, District 20; Jean Dodge, District 21; and Lonnie Krogwold, District 24.
Opposed were Potocki; Tom Mallison, District 1; Chris Doubek, District 2; Tony Patton, District 8; Bo DeDeker, District 9; James Krems, District 10; Jerry Walters, District 17; Larry Raikowski, District 18; Dale O’Brien, District 19; Matt Jacowski, District 22; and Barry Jacowski, District 23.
Excused were Donald Butkowski, District 12; Donald Jankowski, District 13; and James Zdroik, District 25.
After the vote, Medin offered another amendment, skipping the Finance Committee’s recommendation for the proposed salaries in 2017 and changing those proposed in 2018 for 2017, and moving 2019 for 2018, 2020 for 2019 and 2021 (when the positions reached market value) for 2020.
Those changes would give the register of deeds a 13.1-percent hike in 2017 to $72,603; the clerk a 10.9-percent hike to $72,603; the treasurer a 2.6-percent hike to $65,869l and the surveyor a 1.8-percent hike to $15,306.
That amended passed on a 14-8 vote, with three excused. In favor were Doubek, Pazdernik, Medin, Presley, Flood, Dobratz, Krems, Gifford, Haga, Idsvoog, O’Brien, Gussel, Dodge and Krogwold. Opposed were Mallison, Patton, DeDeker, Potocki, Walters, Raikowski, Matt Jacowski and Barry Jacowski.
The board then set the salaries for clerk and register of deeds at $72,603 for 2017, $73,692 in 2018, $74,797 in 2019 and $75,920 in 2020; for treasurer at $65,869 in 2017, $66,857 in 2018, $67,860 in 2019 and $68,878 in 2020; and for the surveyor at $15,306 in 2017, $15,536 in 2018, $15,769 in 2019 and $16,005 in 2020.
The vote was 16-6. In favor were Doubek, Pazdernik, Medin, Presley, Flood, Dobratz, Patton, DeDeker, Krems, Gifford, Haga, Idsvoog, O’Brien, Gussel, Dodge and Krogwold. Opposed were Mallison, Potocki, Walters, Raikowski, Matt Jacowski and Barry Jacowski.
The Agricultural and Extension Committee also withdrew an amended resolution regarding wasteful use of groundwater by Portage County entities from consideration.