Letters Large salary increase unusual for county

To the editor,

In a front page article in the Plain Talk last week, the county auditor complained that she thought her salary and the salaries of the treasurer and register of deeds for 1999 had been shorted by the commissioners. Over the last two years, each of these salaries has increased by 11.4 percent. These large increases are very unusual for our county and are many times the rate of inflation, which is almost non-existent.

After the county hired a director of equalization (assessor) in 1997 at a wage higher than the three above-mentioned elected officials, they appeared at a commissioners' meeting and demanded that their salaries be raised immediately to match the assessor's. It was explained that the positions are different, each requiring different skills, and there was no justification for the same pay.

There is a law, a rule or a directive for all of the duties required for these employees, and I maintain that the technical skills and judgement required by an assessor to value all taxable land and structures in the county justifies a higher wage for the assessor.

So, I voted against the large increase and the 4 percent increase the commissioners voted to themselves.

Paul M. Hasse

Clay County Commissioner

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