Scotts Bluff County Commissioners Thursday evening settled on a new pay scale for elected officials that will see relatively modest increases for the County’s top positions.
Starting in 2023, the pay rates for County Treasurer Register of Deeds County Assessor Clerk of the district court & County Clerk would increase approximately 5 per cent to about $69,900, and go up nearly 4% in each of the three following years.
Commissioners spent approximately an hour debating various options, settling on the proposal from Commissioner Mark Harris. “All the information I looked at, and all of the numbers that I’ve tried to ask people in the private sector for something comparable, ” said Harris. “I’m proud of these numbers. I’m proud to offer them. And as we all know, they’re being offered to take you, and they’re being offered to anyone else that wants to run. And so we just have to keep that in mind.”
Salaries for the County Attorney, Public Defender and Sheriff will go up approximately 6% for the first year, to $112,116, $94,896 and $100,008, respectively, and then increase approximately 5 percent in the following years. The County Surveyor’s salary would rise $500 to $3,000 per year and remain at that level through 2026.
When some of the board’s discussion centered on the impact of possible higher rates of inflation, Scottsbluff City Manager Dustin Rief said city officials are also looking at salaries, and he asked Commissioners to exercise some caution as he sees the potential for a recession. “You guys are kind of setting the tone for what the rest of public service is going to see, and what those expectations are going to be for everybody that’s not sitting in this room. I think I heard you mention you have some 200 or so employees,” said Rief. “So when you set this, just expect that they’re going to ask for the same. And I just want make sure that when you make a decision, you’re gonna make it ‘How are you gonna pay for this’ in the long run.”
Salaries for Board members at their current levels of about $24,900, with the chair receiving slightly more than $27,250 a year.
The vote was 3 – 2, with Charlie Knapper and Ken Meyer voting against. Both said their preference would have been a straight five percent per year increase across the board for elected officials other than the Commissioners.