The Ottumwa Courier

January 16, 2013

County supervisors lower salary suggestions

Board cuts Compensation Board’s recommendation from 4 pct. to 2.2 pct.

CINDY TOOPES
Courier Staff Writer

OTTUMWA — The Wapello County Supervisors can only lower the salary recommendations made Jan. 9 by the Wapello County Compensation Board.

And they did so during their Tuesday meeting. The supervisors cut the proposed increase for county office holders from 4 percent to 2.2 percent.

Supervisor Steve Siegel said the 4 percent payroll increase that the compensation board recommended for the county’s office holders would be reduced to 2.2 percent and that there would be a 2.25 percent increase for the elected officials and chief deputies.

“The Compensation Board is the only government entity that has a specific board for handling monetary increases for county officials and their deputies,” Kenning said.

Rich Gaumer and Dick Damm attended the Tuesday meeting and told the supervisors they had attended the commission’s Jan. 9 meeting. They said the commission had heard from the treasurer, recorder and auditor.

Gaumer said the statute about compensation board recommendations noted the numbers are supposed to be relative to the size of the county. As for compensation boards, Wapello County is the 20th largest county in Iowa. Also, it’s the 24th largest in the supervisors category.

“We acknowledge elected officials, and they have fringe benefits such as health insurance,” Gaumer said. “They do a good job and are competent. Their efforts control costs, and we know they’re underpaid.”

Gaumer said he encourages the supervisors to set compensation for elected officials and also their deputies, who only get a percentage of what the elected official receives.

“The deputies aren’t part of the bargain, so they’re caught in the middle,” Gaumer said.

Siegel thanked Gaumer and Damm and the Compensation Board members, who include Dwight Lobberecht, Carol Logan, Lois Reed, Edith Rooker and Ralph Price.

“We would prefer to have more money so we can maintain insurance, but I have a problem with the bigger raises,” Siegel said.