DANVILLE — It's time for the Vermilion County board to get out its crystal ball.
That's what's needed when setting salaries for the next four years for elected officeholders, according to the county's finance committee chairman, John Alexander.
"It's really a lousy way to set salaries," said Alexander, referring to the fact that annual pay for the next four years must be set now for the county offices up for election this fall. Those include sheriff, county clerk, treasurer, supervisor of assessments, county board chairman and board of review chairman and commissioners.
The salary debate comes up every two years, when half the county offices are up for election.
The finance committee discussed the issue last week but rather than approving a specific proposal and sending it to the full board tonight, the committee decided to table the issue and let the full board discuss it first, then form a specific proposal for action next month.
Alexander said Vermilion County has time for the discussion. By state statute, the county must set the salaries for offices up for election 180 days prior to terms beginning in December. The law is intended to ensure that salaries are set according to the office rather than who wins election.
Alexander said the finance committee was in agreement that the offices up for election in November should receive 3 percent annual increases the first two years of the four-year terms. That would keep them in line with the other county offices elected two years ago. Except for the sheriff and the state's attorney, whose salary is set by the state, the county has maintained the same annual salaries for the seven other county officeholders.
Finance committee member Chuck Mockbee said the question is what the salaries should be the last two years.
If 3 percent increases are granted all four years, Mockbee said, the next group elected in 2016 will have to be given 3 percent increases the first two years to maintain parity.
"So the concern was raised that we need to be careful about any raises we give the last two years of this term we are setting," Mockbee said. "I'd like to see what others think about it."
Salaries for Vermilion County elected officials, per the annual budget:
|UP FOR ELECTION IN NOVEMBER|
|Supervisor of Assessments||$62,810|
|County Board Chairman||$65,000|
|Board of Review/Chairman||$22,330|
|Brd of Review/Commissioners||$20,061|
|ELECTED IN NOVEMBER 2010|
|* Circuit clerk||$62,810||$64,700||$66,650|
|State’s attorney||$166,508 (Salary set by state)|
*-These positions also receive an annual state stipend of $6,500