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Campaign promise fulfilled: Cerro Gordo Supervisors freeze their pay (video)

Supervisors at the January 10, 2017 meeting

MASON CITY – Campaign promises were fulfilled Tuesday at the Cerro Gordo county courthouse as the board of supervisors voted to skip a pay cut and freeze their salaries.

While the supervisors followed the recommendations of the county compensation board and approved a 2.5% pay increase for all other county elected officials, they did not accept a 2.5% pay increase they could have taken.  The vote was unanimous from all three Republican board members: Casey Callanan, Tim Latham and Chris Watts.  Both Mr. Latham and Mr. Watts made campaign promises to freeze their pay, and both were elected this past November, forcing out long-time Democrats Jay Urdahl and Phil Dougherty.

A pay freeze is a rarity for the Cerro Gordo county board of supervisors. So rare, in fact, that County administrator Tom Drzycimski told NIT “I really don’t know when the last time was that occurred.”

The Cerro Gordo county compensation board – which is chaired by Steve Minert – was formed in 1982. Sources tell NIT that every year since then, the Board of Supervisors has taken a pay increase.

Steve Minert is new chairman of the county compensation board

NIT contacted Chairman Minert for comment. Mr. Minert told NIT that, “I commend the Supervisors for approving the Comp Board’s recommendation, and for freezing their pay. It’s like a double-edged sword; this vote is positive for all parties concerned. All of our officials who serve in elective county office do great work for the citizens of Cerro Gordo county.”

Also approved by the supervisors was a 5-year plan for pay increases for county employees which include the sheriff’s department, courthouse employees and road workers – a total of 113 employees. Along with health insurance changes and a wellness package, these employees will see their pay increase every year for the next five years:

July 1, 2017: – 2.55% (courthouse employees get $0.48 raise)
July 1, 2018: – 2.65% (courthouse employees get $0.49 raise)
July 1, 2019: – 2.75% (courthouse employees get $0.52 raise)
July 1, 2020: – 2.75% (courthouse employees get $0.53 raise)
July 1, 2021: – 2.75% (courthouse employees get $0.55 raise)

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