Linn County Supervisors approve pay raises - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Linn County Supervisors approve pay raises


The Linn County Board of Supervisors was split on a vote for annual raises for elected officials. The board voted 3-2 to approve raises of more than five percent for the county sheriff and attorney. All other elected officials will see more than a two percent raise.

Every February, the Board of Supervisors must approve salaries for elected officials based on recommendations from a compensation board. The Linn County Compensation Board recommended a salary increase equal to more than 12 percent for the county sheriff and 11 percent for the attorney, finding their salaries were no longer competitive after taking pay freezes in 2010 and 2011.

The Board of Supervisors instead voted to cut the recommended pay raises in half because some board members found the original proposal excessive.

"It's not right given the economic condition we're in and I don't think it's right as compared to other managers in government," said Supervisor chairperson Brent Oleson.


Under Iowa law, the Compensation Board comes up with salary recommendations for elected officials based on what other officials with comparable agencies are making.

After two pay freezes in Linn County in 2010 and 2011, the Compensation Board says the Sherriff and Attorney's office are playing catch-up with the salaries their peers are making and need substantial increases to be competitive.

Sheriff Brian Gardner says he presented the board with comparable salaries from law enforcement agencies across the state.

"I merely presented them the information that I have the seventh largest department by budget and I'm paid 16th highest based off that information," Sheriff Gardner said.

The supervisors voted to cut the compensation board's recommendations in half. They were limited by Iowa code to reduce all the recommendations uniformly.

Several supervisors say the process is flawed and are calling for a change in the state code, which would allow the board to determine elected officials' salaries.


Linn County Supervisors say taxes will not be raised to pay for the salary increase. Instead the increases are taken from additional money set aside for county departments as needed.

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