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Kootenai County looks at 8% raises

"There are still a lot of numbers we have to look through before we know where we're going to be," Kootenai County Commission Chairman David Stewart said during a meeting of the county's elected officials.

"Whatever is applied would be best applied in a general sense," said County Assessor Mike McDowell. "Whatever percentage it might be."

A majority of the board of county commissioners sought a new market survey earlier this year and hired a contractor to make it happen. Full story, David Cole, Cda Press


Assessor, Treasurer Want Pay Raises

At least two Kootenai County elected officials could get raises this fiscal year, under a resolution the commissioners will consider at their business meeting today. Under Idaho code, the commissioners must set the nine elected officials' salaries each year, including their own. The new fiscal year budget allows raises for all of the more than 700 county employees, including voted-in officials. Yet under today's proposed resolution, only two of the county's nine officials, the treasurer and assessor, are requesting to receive a 2.47 percent raise. The other seven officials, commissioners included, are recommending to keep their salaries flat. "The commissioners, we decided we're not taking a raise this year, because of the economic times," said Commissioner Todd Tondee, who like the other commissioners earns $71,080 a year/Alecia Warren, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here. (Kootenai County photo: Assessor Mike McDowell)

Question: Is this the time for a public elected official to ask for a raise?

Press: Aim Low On City Hall Raises

As this newspaper has documented several times over recent years, Coeur d'Alene city employees are among the best paid workers around. Add to their ample average earnings a benefits package that exceeds anything the local private sector can offer, and city employees are the envy of many. We have no desire to unleash another personal attack on city personnel. We've seen and heard enough of that in the wake of the McEuen quake. While most of the thunder behind the recent recall movement rumbled because of the controversial park, a lightning bolt or two was generated by the disparity between what the typical private-sector worker receives and what her or his counterpart at the city receives. With that in mind, we respectfully ask city officials and their employees from three separate unions to consider how short-term gain is likely to increase long-term pain/Coeur d'Alene Press Editorial Board. More here.

Question: Do you support 3 percent raises for city of Coeur d'Alene workers?

Commish Staff Raises Cause Stink

Item: Commissioners defend raises: County elected officials' letter questioned pay hikes of 7 to 17 percent/Alecia Warren, CdA Press

More Info: Despite criticism from other Kootenai County elected officials, the county commissioners say they are justified in some recent employee raises. "I was disappointed, because they misstated some facts," said Commissioner Dan Green. Pay increases the commissioners gave to four of their department employees this year were questioned in a May memo signed by county elected officials, including the treasurer, assessor, coroner, clerk, sheriff and prosecutor.

Question: Are the county commissioners being hypocritical in giving raises to their own staff when they've cut positions elsewhere?

Hard Times? City Workers Get Raises

Item: Without COLA, wages still went up: Cd'A employees got merit increases during tough economic times/Tom Hasslinger, CdA Press

More Info: A records request shows that 58 percent of all city of Coeur d'Alene benefited employees were eligible to receive 5 percent merit pay increases in fiscal year 2009-2010. That was the year the city agreed with its three employee bargaining unions not to give 3 percent Cost of Living increases to all of its employees — as the contracts between the entities outline - due to economic reasons. So the 0 percent increase actually amounted to roughly $283,000 spread over 173 employees, out of 300.


Idaho Solons Reject Pay Increases

One after another, the members of the House State Affairs Committee voted “Aye,” all 18 of them, on Rep. Darrell Bolz’ proposal to reject legislative pay raises this year. Bolz’ proposal also rejects all the changes in mileage and per diem expenses that a citizen committee had recommended this year. “What we are doing is rejecting all of these,” he told the panel this morning. The committee voted not only to introduce the measure, but to send it to 2nd Reading Calendar of the full House, which means it goes directly to the floor without a further hearing on the House side. It’ll save the state about $180,000 by foregoing raises or any other compensation boosts for lawmakers/Betsy Russell, Eye On Boise. More here.

Question: Still, wouldn’t you like to vote on whether or not you receive a pay increase?