MASON CITY – The Cerro Gordo county compensation board met this afternoon at the courthouse. The board meets once a year to make salary recommendations to the County Supervisors for elected officials working for the county.
The board decided to give a 1.5% pay increase after some discussion. Representatives for some elected officials attended the meeting and had a chance to give their recommendation. Tim LaPoint, a local attorney and board member, asked for a 2% raise, while board member Rich Finstad thought no raise was more appropriate due to the economic climate. “I gotta go back to work tomorrow and tell my people I can’t give them a raise, my taxes are going up and consequently I prefer to see us hold tight,” Finstad said.
Chris Watts, a former candidate for Supervisor, was in attendance and was allowed by board chairman Tom Jolas to address the board. Watts said the Supervisors were only working about 30-32 hours a week and should not receive a raise. Watts produced a chart that showed the wage scale of the County Supervisors since 1989, when Supervisors were only paid $18,750. County Supervisors in Cerro Gordo County now are paid $44,661.
Jolas said that other county employees’ salaries are tied to what the elected officials make, so it is difficult to separate raises elected officials are given and what raises regular employees will receive. Also, Jolas later pointed out that the raises recommended by the compensation board apply to all elected county officials, not just the Supervisors. Jolas also told NorthIowaToday.com that in 1989, Supervisors were well underpaid and the compensation board “needed to close that gap” over the years. Cerro Gordo County Supervisors are now the seventh highest paid in the state, out of 99 counties.
Listen to the entire compensation board meeting: