"He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left."
Matthew 25:33

Thursday, January 10, 2008

More Pay Raises to Make Us Ill

Dakota County / Pay raises kick in for county officials
Pioneer Press

Ever wonder how much money your elected county officials make?

In Dakota County, the answer ranges from $64,700 a year for a county commissioner to $149,342 for the county attorney - or at least it does as of Tuesday.

On Dec. 18, the commissioners approved a 5 percent pay increase for themselves, raising their annual salaries from $61,600.

The commissioners also are eligible in 2008 for a car travel and expense allowance of up to $4,659.
But not everyone is taking the extra dollars.

The commissioners had until 4:30 p.m. Monday to submit paperwork to the county's employee relations director if they wished to decline their raises.

As of 4:15 p.m., Nancy Schouweiler, of Inver Grove Heights, was the only commissioner to forgo the pay increase.

Other county officials have defended the raises, noting that given the number of staff and committee meetings, their weekly workload is roughly equivalent to a part-time job.

Other salaries approved by the commissioners were for the positions held by County Administrator Brandt Richardson, at $149,342, an increase of 3.5 percent over 2007; County Attorney James Backstrom, at $149,342; and County Sheriff Don Gudmundson, at $134,408.

Under county provisions, the salaries of the county attorney and county sheriff are capped at 100 percent and 90 percent of the county administrator's salary, respectively.

- Frederick Melo

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