Amongst the changes approved by the Lake County Budget Committee during their April 24 and 25 meetings was pay raises for the county’s elected officials.
This decision affects a total of four positions: the Lake County Tax Assessor, Lake County Sheriff, Lake County Treasurer and Lake County Clerk.
Discussed was the Lake County Elected Official Compensation Review Committee’s recommendations, along with a 2.6 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA).
Inclusive of the COLA adjustment, the numbers are as follows for the recommended increases in salary for the following elected officials.
The salary for Lake County Tax Assessor Larry Reeder will increase from its current sum of $49,969 to $57,891.
Sheriff Phil McDonald’s salary will increase from $59,969 to $69,932, and Lake County Clerk Stacie Geaney and Treasurer Ann Crumrine’s salaries will increase from $49,963 to $55,342.
Crumrine noted that the review committee consists of three citizen members that apply for the position and are appointed by the Lake County Board of Commissioners.
The members of the committee at present include Mary Anderson, Sharon Faulkner and Janine Sundet.
State law requires an annual review of the county’s elected officials, she said, and the salaries of these officials are examined utilizing comparison data.
This data comes from communities of similar sizes for which their elected officials perform comparable levels of duties, Crumrine said.
Other highlights of the 2014/15 budget discussion, which totals $4,055,221, included minimal increases to the Lake County Sheriff’s Department.
A nurse practitioner is contracted to provide services to the jail facility, and an increase in computer supplies expenses was included to account for increased maintenance costs on the automated fingerprinting equipment.
Lake County Planning Dir. Darwin Johnson noted a transfer of $5,000 from Lands/Facilities to his department for nuisance abatement issues.
This duty was moved between departments in the last year, and Johnson hinted at a possible need for a full-time nuisance abatement position in light of excessive nuisance issues existing in the county.
Changes include that of salaries, as moving the building code specialist position over to the Building Department.
In veteran’s services, the North Lake Veteran’s Officer position will see an increase of 4.5 hours per week.
The Lake County Museum also recently hired a new part-time curator to oversee the museum under 19.5 hours per week.