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Compensation Board issues salary recommendations to Board of Supervisors

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Compensation Board issues salary recommendations to Board of Supervisors

A salary increase of 18% for Page County Sheriff Lyle Palmer highlighted the salary recommendations for elected county officials approved Jan. 4 during a meeting of the Page County Compensation Board.

The board meets each year to draft salary recommendations for the elected county officials for the Page County Board of Supervisors to consider during its budget process. The Board of Supervisors may accept the recommendations, reduce the suggested salaries by an equal percentage or issue no pay raises to the elected officials.

Each elected official among the Attorney, Auditor, Recorder, Sheriff and Treasurer is able to select one citizen to represent them on the Compensation Board. The final two members represent the Page County Board of Supervisors.

Along with the 18% increase for the Sheriff, the board recommended a 7% raise for both the Attorney and the Auditor. A 6% increase was recommended for the Recorder, the Treasurer and the members of the Board of Supervisors.

Initially, Terry Carlson, serving as the representative for the Sheriff, suggested a 40% pay increase. This suggestion was based on the passage of the Back the Blue Act in Iowa in 2021 that supports setting county sheriff’s salaries at a rate comparable to those of police chiefs in cities of similar population.

During a joint portion of the meeting attended by the Board of Supervisors, Chairperson Alan Armstrong reviewed the terms of the act. Although there is no definition of what constitutes a comparable salary, he said a large increase to a single official could impact the rest of the county budget.

"If we were to give a larger department a sizeable 40% raise that could increase, because all the deputies are affected and everybody else, that could affect us as much as $$411,000 in additional payroll. I'm not sure how Jacob (Holmes) and Chuck (Morris) would feel, but I'd be very concerned with that much money coming out of our pockets," Armstrong said.

Heidi Carter was elected to serve as the chairperson for the Compensation Board meeting Tuesday. Jennifer McCall was selected as vice chairperson.

Various salary options were discussed by the members of the Compensation Board before a consensus was reached on the recommendations sent to the Board of Supervisors. During the discussions, Palmer was able to explain that his department includes the county deputies, jailers and dispatchers. This makes the Sheriff Department the largest department in the county.

However, Palmer said only his salary and the salaries of his deputies are impacted by the recommendation approved by the Compensation Board. 

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