Hall County Still Debating Elected Official Pay Increases

By: Megan Johnson Email
By: Megan Johnson Email
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Setting salaries for the next term of Hall County's elected officials hasn't been an easy task for the Board of Supervisors.

"We would be the bottom of all nine counties if we paid our clerk $13 less," said Supervisor Scott Arnold.

The board is using numbers from the Nebraska Association of County Officials that compares Hall County's pay to counties similar in population and valuation. The board found they're underpaying officials like the treasurer and clerk.

"What we're looking to do and what the majority of the board agrees is to bring that up closer to what will be the average rather than the bottom," said Arnold.

But the board is split over how to get to that average, and spent two hours at Tuesday's meeting in a sometimes heated debate. They seem to agree on a $64,000 base salary - an over $9,400 increase for some positions from 2014. They also agree on giving bigger raises to the county assessor (who will also be the register of deeds starting in 2015), attorney, sheriff, and surveyor. However, cost of living adjustments left the board divided.

A proposal to add either cost of living raises or a flat $1,000 per year for four years to the supervisors' own salaries was a sticking point for some, but not for others.

"I know you said that's a 5 percent increase," said Supervisor Bob McFarland during the meeting. "We're not giving that to the other people, I didn't do the numbers, but if you turn around and do the percentages of what we're being paid against the base, it's considerably less."

The board can decide if they want to reach the base number they choose in one year, two years, or four years.

Not one, not two, but nine failed motions and a failed amendment later, the board agreed to pick up talks again at their next meeting.

They will need to have a salary decision by January 15.


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