Supervisors cut raise recommendations by 92 percent

The raises proposed to Marshall County elected officials last month were cut by 92 percent by the Board of Supervisors during a meeting Tuesday.

The supervisors took the recommendation of the Compensation Board into consideration but cited a tight budget as to why they cut that much of the proposed raises.

“I’ve got to represent 40,000 people and the way I feel,” said supervisor Denny Grabenbauer.

The approved annual raises with the cut will include $1,040 for Marshall County Attorney Jennifer Miller, $560 for Auditor and Recorder Dawn Williams, $480 for County Sheriff Ted Kamatchus and $640 for County Treasurer Jarret Heil.

Compensation Board Chair Tom McCoy said the county elected officials are not paid what is fair in comparing their salaries to others working in similar sized counties in the state. That’s why the Compensation Board recommended $6,000 to $13,000 raises, which McCoy said totaled less than 1/16th of 1 percent of the total county budget.

Supervisors Chair Dave Thompson said they have to take all budgetary items into consideration including the rising cost of health care, which the county provides at no cost to individual employees and elected officials.

“These things must be taken into consideration,” Thompson said.

Several members of the public spoke out against the proposed Compensation Board raises, and three elected officials (Kamatchus, Williams and Heil) spoke in favor of the raises in an attempt to bring them up to what other counties are paying their elected officials.

Kamatchus spoke on several occasions during the meeting stressing that the salaries need to have fairness in relation to what other county elected officials are paid.

Supervisor Deane Adams put out a motion to accept 50 percent of the recommended raises, but it failed for a lack of a second.

Adams eventually agreed with Grabenbauer and Thompson on the 92 percent raise reduction as the vote was unanimous for it. The supervisors themselves requested no pay raise for the coming fiscal year.