consultants are sandburs

Friday, January 16, 2015

ANOKA COUNTY - Yes, but are they worth it? And, why was this done weeks after the last election? It would have given voters more to chew on, if enacted before they voted. And, sure he can grandstand, Michele Bachmann would grandstand, but did either ever refuse a pay increase?

Hat tip to watchdog, for earlier posting link to this ABC Newspapers item:

County Board to get 2 percent pay increase in 2015
By Peter Bodley December 8, 2014 at 8:11 am

Action by the board Nov. 25 set 2015 salaries for elected officials and non-union county employees, including the county administrator, division managers and department heads.

The salary of county board members will increase from $61,444 to $62,367. The 2 percent increase the commissioners received for this year had been their first in four years.

There is no change to the expense allowance maximum received by County Board members, which was established by a resolution approved by the board in 2004.

That put in place the expense allowance in lieu of seven-county metropolitan mileage and other unreimbursed business-related county expenses.

The County Board by state law also sets salaries for the county attorney and county sheriff, according to Melanie Ault, county human resources director.

Sheriff James Stuart’s salary will increase 2 percent from $137,355 to $140,102, but County Attorney Tony Palumbo’s wage jumps from $143,820 to $155,000.

[...] The County Board vote was not unanimous. County Commissioner Matt Look voted no, while County Board Chairperson Rhonda Sivarajah missed the meeting because of illness and County Commissioner Carol LeDoux was also absent from the meeting.

According to Look, he has nothing but praise for the quality, output and value of the work done by employees, but the county has no identified source of funding for the increases short of increasing the tax levy.

The economy has not rebounded in terms of tax base and revenues, while construction costs are increasing, in some cases as much as 30 percent, and fiscal disparities revenues are “problematic,” Look said.

Give me a break. County taxes were raised, pay was raised, and pontification is different than turning a raise down for reasons stated as cause for an opposition vote.

There is show, and there is action.

(And of course there is ducking the vote entirely, taking a hike on the meeting day, and thus getting the bigger paycheck with no vote on record to have to defend later.)

In these times when we are told of a recovery many cannot tangibly see, how many private sector pay raises are being given?

Legislators do not get that much pay, as I understand things.

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