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Linn Co. Supervisors Hold Off on Pay Increase Vote

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - A proposal to raise the pay of Linn County Supervisors back to full time status is once again drawing some criticism. And now, supervisors won't vote on the proposal for at least another week.

In 2009, Linn County Supervisors cut salaries to 80 percent of full time after voters increased the size of the board from three to five members. The recommendation, made two weeks ago, was to increase supervisor salaries from the current $74,362 to the full time amount of $92,953 now earned by the auditor, treasurer and recorder.

Linn County Supervisors discussed the issue Monday with the idea of voting at the formal meeting Wednesday. But the board chairman said he was hearing from critics the board was rushing things and put off the formal vote by at least a week.

The vote to make the job of county supervisor a little more than a "three quarter" time position came in February of 2009. County voters had decided to add two supervisors to the board increasing the total number to five.

The argument then was going from three to five meant supervisors wouldn't have to work full time. That's the argument some critics are still making more than four years later.

Ron Stodola, who spoke against the move back to full time pay, said "they're claiming now that this was a temporary decision. I don't remember hearing those words back then (in 2009)," he said.

But supervisors, despite the move to delay, still believe they're doing a full time job. And several argued it's a job that should come with a full time paycheck to get the best people in the future to run for office.

One supervisor, Linda Langston, agreed it would be a big one year jump in salary.

"The question the board will have to ask—is it easier to do it in small chunks so it happens slowly over a period of time. Or do you want to do it all at once," Langston said.

Supervisors need to make a decision before the end of February to allow time to factor all elected official's salaries into the new county budget.

One person who spoke up at the informal meeting said even if supervisors decided they're doing a full time job they should keep the current salary because that amount just above $74,000 a year seems adequate.

The county compensation board recommends salaries for elected officials. But supervisors can, and often do, adjust the amounts downward.

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