Raises go to next level

DALLAS — The Polk County Compensation Committee approved a recommendation for raises for the county’s elected officials and an increase in the stipend for the district attorney and treasurer.

Proposed elected official salaries

Commissioners — $6,683, a monthly increase of $334.

Assessor — $7,314, a monthly increase of $316.

Clerk — $6,980, a monthly increase of $263.

Sheriff — $9,000, a monthly increase of $250.

Treasurer — $8,000, a monthly increase of $1,000. Treasurer salary includes elected official pay ($1,000 per month) and finance officer pay.

District Attorney — $1,000, a monthly stipend increase of $250. The DA is paid by the state. The stipend listed is what Polk County pays in addition.

County Administrator Greg Hansen proposed salary increases of 4 percent for the clerk, assessor and commissioners; a 2 percent increase for the sheriff; and monthly stipend increase of $250 for the district attorney and $1,000 for the treasurer.

District attorneys are paid by the state, but several counties provide monthly stipends to their elected DAs. Polk began providing a stipend of $750 per month last year.

Polk County treasurer and finance officer are filled by the same person, Linda Fox. The salary for the elected treasurer’s duties remained the same at $1,000, while the salary for the finance officer increased from $6,000 to $7,000.

“This may be the first time in a while that they didn’t tweak it at all,” Hansen said on Jan. 24, following the annual meeting of the committee.

Hansen said the approved increases puts Polk’s elected officials closer to the average of the five neighboring counties he uses as comparisons — Benton, Lincoln, Linn, Tillamook and Yamhill. Before the proposed changes, all of Polk’s elected officials make less than the average, by 3.89 percent for the sheriff to 13.98 percent for the three commissioners.

“I think this effort will get them closer in line. I think the commissioners will always be lagging, unless I do a massive one-time cleanup, which usually doesn’t fly too well with the commissioners,” Hansen said. “It will get them closer. I think I’m not in a bad place with the clerk or the assessor or the sheriff.”

The salary boosts must have full budget committee approval before they go into effect. The budget committee meets in April. If approved, the increases would cost the county about $35,000.

Monthly expense allowances increased from $500 to $600 for the commissioners and $350 to $400 for the assessor.

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