VINTON – The Benton County Compensation Board recommended an increase of 3 percent across the board for elected officials, at their meeting Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the courthouse in Vinton.
The recommendation was approved after a motion to increase salaries 4 percent was voted down.
The board of supervisors will act on the recommendation when it approves the budget for 2021. They can’t go above recommendation. If reduced, it must be by an equal percentage. Represented by the compensation board are the county auditor, county attorney, county recorder, county treasurer, county supervisors and county sheriff.
Discussion leading up to the vote included benefits, health insurance, comparison of salaries in other counties, and the impact it has to be surrounded metropolitan counties. Auditor Hayley Rippel gave an update on the budget and the goal to not go into the county’s reserves to fund the budget, while keeping the levies the same. They also discussed how the rural access center is funded, how offices are understaffed, and not losing good employees.
Benton County Attorney David Thompson stressed the need to attract quality people and the way to do that is through competitive salaries. He also urged the board to look at the Iowa Code. After a long board discussion on benefits, he stressed that benefits are not part of the role of the compensation board. Positions are to be compared to similar positions in the public and private sector.
Thompson said if the county does not stay competitive, people will leave, or the county will get somebody in the office they won’t be satisfied with. “You get what you pay for,” Thompson stressed.
Members of the compensation board are:
- Auditor Representative-Amy Van Wechel
- Treasurer-Dick Kerdus
- Recorder-John Yundt (chairman)
- Attorney-Terry Harrington
- Sheriff-Anders Norgaard
- Supervisors: Bob Hanson and Nick Volk-Nick (co-chair)
Hayley Rippel serves as secretary
If approved by the supervisors, the 3 percent increase would result in these salaries.