DALLAS -- No Polk County elected officials will receive an increase in pay in the 2011-12 budget.
The Polk County Compensation Committee, the three lay members of the county's budget committee, voted to approve the recommendation on Wednesday, May 18.
County Administrator Greg Hansen made the proposal with the economy and the county's tight budget in mind.
"Are our elected officials in need of a salary increase? Yes. Is now the time to do it? No," Hansen said.
He said in a survey with Benton, Lincoln, Linn, Tillamook and Yamhill counties, Polk County pays its elected officials the least amount of money in all offices. Salaries for the county's commissioners, assessor, clerk, sheriff and treasurer lag behind between 5.6 and 12.65 percent compared to those counties. The salary of Polk County District Attorney Stan Butterfield is paid by the state, but the county does not offer a supplement while the other counties do.
"I do appreciate our elected officials," Hansen said. "However, that doesn't mean I can recommend salary increases at this time -- even though it might be warranted."
The county still is in negotiations with employee unions over salaries and is proposing to offer no cost of living increase for any employees.
Hansen's proposal included maintaining monthly stipends for Treasurer Linda Fox and Assessor Doug Schmidt for work they do for the county that is outside their official job description, incentive pay and expense allowance for Sheriff Bob Wolfe and expense allowances for the Board of Commissioners.
The monthly salaries, plus stipends, incentive pay and expense allowances are: Commissioners, $5,680; Assessor, $6,116; Clerk, $5,699; Sheriff, $7,429; and Treasurer, $5,796.
The committee's recommendation was approved by the full budget committee and will now become part of the 2011-12 formally approved budget.