Wednesday, May 11, 2016

County Board Member reports on proposed increase in salaries for two elected officials

Posted this am by Boone County Board member Cathy Ward.

"BOONE FINANCE COMMITTEE RECOMMENDING 5% raises for Coroner and Circuit Clerk -

That's just for next year. Both will receive at least another 2% for each of the following years of their four year terms. The full board wil vote on those proposed raises next week. The committee discussed even higher raises, but citing serious financial crisis, decided on the 5% plus. Circuit Clerk Linda Anderson, whose current salary is ...$67,845, has argued she is making much less than County Clerk Mary Steuer. Coroner Becky Wigget, whose salary is $55,316, also argued for a higher salary, saying she works 24-7. Both also get an extra bonus of $6,500 from the state plus health benefits. I argued against these raises for several reasons. Many of us paying the bill got NO increase in social security benefits, no increase in interest rates, are paying higher taxes than ever, and have heard repeatedly from the county board leaders that we have a financial crisis. Winnebago county leaders last week voted no salary hike for their elected officials, also noting financial problems. What's more, we have six unions who will be negotiating for higher wages this fall. I expect each will want at least 5% a year. Next I expect board leaders will try again to raid the public safety sales tax revenues to help balance the budget. Last year they took $800,000 from this fund that was promised to just pay off the jail. Last year, only 2% raises were given to the majority of Boone County employees. Both Anderson and Wigget just won Republican spots in the March primary. The election for both is in November. They are currently unopposed."

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