KEOSAUQUA — On a 3-0 vote, the Van Buren County Board of Supervisors voted to keep a full-time position in the treasurer’s office during their regular meeting Monday.
The board authorized the treasurer to advertise for a full-time employee to fill a current vacancy in the office with a beginning salary of $24,352, which is 60 percent of the treasurer’s salary.
The supervisors had considered making it a part-time position and shutting down the driver’s license department to just three days per week.
County treasurer Tanya McQuoid was present for a discussion of staffing needs of the county treasurer’s office.
“The salary is not the biggest issue,” said Mark Meek, speaking to McQuoid, “it’s the benefits. We’re not trying to abuse you, but our responsibility is to cut the budget wherever possible.”
Meek initially recommended cutting the driver’s license department, but Supervisor Bob Waugh said other counties of similar size have three full-time workers besides the treasurer. He said he would favor keeping the driver’s license department at five days or not having it at all.
“Think of your customer,” McQuoid told supervisors.
Supervisor Ted Nixon had asked about dropping the beginning salary to 55 percent of the treasurer’s salary, which would put the wage at $11 per hour, but Supervisor Bob Waugh said he was opposed.
“I’m sick of cutting the salary of the little guy who can’t make a living and keep raising the big guy’s salary. That’s the point of my complaint to the compensation board. We should drop having percentage raises and go to just an across-the-board dollar amount,” he said.
McQuoid said the federal poverty level is $22,000 and “this would be $23,000 before taxes.”
McQuoid said there were 22 applicants with nine planning to be interviewed. “A lot of them wanted (a higher per hour rate), some would be happy to have a job. I don’t know the effect of reducing the starting salary to 55 percent.”