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Officials to get 2.9% pay raise


   The county's Compensation Committee, taking into account all factors including the state of the economy, recommended to hold the line at a 2.9% COLA increase for elected officials
   
The Crook County Elected Officials Compensation Committee presented their recommendations for salaries of elected officials to the court this week: no more than a 2.9 percent cost of living increase.
   The committee, comprised of three members of the county budget committee, took a lot of factors into account in their deliberations. The question of the county's retirement program as it relates to Assessor Tom Green, the amount of time County Clerk Dee Berman's office is open for recording documents as well as the amount of Sheriff Rodd Clark)s salary that comes from other sources were all looked at. When it came to the salaries of the county judge and commissioners, the committee believed they needed more information about what the court does.
   Any increase could not be justified, Committee chair Gary Rossi told the members of the court, "without knowing what you do. It would help in the future to have a job description."
   Until the duties of the county judge or commissioners are codified in writing, the committee explained in their recommendations, it is difficult to evaluate or justify increasing the base salary of either above cost of living increases.
   The increase in Commissioners' salaries recommended in the county's 2000-01 budget should not be granted, the committee's recommendation read, and any need to compensate commissioners for extra-ordinary service should be taken up by the court. That compensation should also be designated as an expense in a line item other than base salary, the committee suggested.
   In addition, the committee report pointed out that the judge's salary at the present time is already five percent higher than the next highest paid election county official which complies with the committee)s stated policy.
   Concluding his remarks, Rossi told the court that "looking at the advent of the declining economy, the recent reclassification and general level of statewide compensation for elected officials, the decision of the committee was to recommend increases of 2.9 percent."
   The recommended salaries for the following elected officials for the budget year 2001-09 are:
   Judge $52,302
   Commissioner 20,580
   Treasurer 44,762
   Sheriff 50,765
   Clerk 44765
   Assessor 48,878
   District Attorney 14,619
   (The major portion of the District Attorney's salary is paid by the state.)