WAPELLO — Although no final decisions were made, the Louisa County Board of Supervisors strongly hinted Tuesday that recommended pay increases of 2.4 percent to 4 percent for the county’s elected officials next year would be cut in half.
In addition to that indication, the board also suggested department heads build two preliminary Fiscal Year 2019 budget proposals, with staff pay increases of 2 percent and 3 percent in the two spending plans.
The supervisors said the actual pay raise could be based on whether the staff supported paying a larger portion of the county’s health insurance. Currently the staff pays 15 percent of the monthly insurance premium and the county covers the remaining 85 percent of the cost.
That percentage has gradually changed over the years as the staff assumed more of the cost, often in years when the salary increases were a little larger. That may be the case this year, the supervisors said.
“I could see more of an increase if they wanted to share a little more for their insurance,” board chairman Randy Griffin said.
Meanwhile, the proposed pay increases for the elected officials ran into a quick roadblock with the board because of the impact on other county salaries.
“If we give 4 percent to the (office holders), it would be pretty tough not to give 4 percent to the rest of the employees,” Griffin said.
The recommendation from the Louisa County Compensation Board had included 4 percent for three officeholders, with lesser amounts ranging from 2.4 percent to 3.4 percent for other officeholders.
If the board eventually does cut the compensation board’s recommendation in half, that would mean the supervisors and Sheriff Brad Turner would see a 1.2 percent salary boost, while County Attorney Adam Parsons would receive a 1.7 percent increase. Auditor Sandi Elliott, Recorder Leanne Black and Treasurer Vicki Frank would each get a 2 percent boost in their pay.
In actual pay that would mean supervisors Griffin, Brad Quigley and Chris Ball would each earn $27,520 next year. Turner’s pay would increase to $73,980 and Parsons’ salary would be $65,124. Elliott, Black and Frank would each receive a $52,461 salary.
In other action, the board met with Zoning Administrator Paul Choi and accepted his request to use former Assessor/Zoning Administrator Greg Johnson to help identify possible zoning violations in the county.
Johnson would be paid $15 per hour, the same rate he currently receives to help County Assessor Cathy Smith with some duties in that office.
The board also met with Parsons and directed him to begin the process that would allow the county to place a vacant lot on Industrial Park Road in Wapello up for sale.
In final action, Griffin clarified earlier comments he had relayed to the board on problems a local veterans group had encountered with the Iowa Department of Transportation over approving signage to the All-Veterans Memorial at Grandview.
In his latest report, Griffin said State Rep. Dave Kerr had arranged a meeting between the vets and the DOT, which had indicated it was working with the veterans group to resolve the issue.