Potter County Salaries Set

Two percent increase for Potter row offices

The Endeavor News

Just one taxpayer came out Thursday to the public hearing held to set salaries for Potter County’s “row offices” and auditors for the new four-year terms that will begin in 2012.

Commissioners Susan Kefover, Paul Heimel and Doug Morley unanimously agreed to increase the salaries by two percent each year.

The raises are for the offices of Sheriff/ Jail Warden, Prothonotary/Clerk of Courts, Register of Wills/Recorder of Deeds, Treasurer, Commissioners and Auditors.

Saying that she is “optimistic about the future,” commissioner Kefover called the increases “fair, yet modest.”

All of those offices will see a two percent increase in 2011 as well, a rate set by the past board of commissioners. For the holders of offices with “dual responsibilities,” that increase will up their salaries to $50,494 in 2011. Meanwhile, the Treasurer and Commissioners will get the same two percent increase in 2011 and earn considerably less at $44,182. The three county auditors will earn $142 per day worked in 2011.

The disparity in the full-time salaries was as much of a concern of the commissioners as was the decision about setting the salaries for the next term of office. Commissioners had considered giving different percentages to different offices in an effort to close the gap between the salaries, but they learned state law prohibits that move.

“I think that is ridiculous,” Heimel said. “I am very disturbed that the state has tied our hands on this.”

At the first public hearing on the salaries, the current office holders requested only a small increase, citing the county’s economic difficulties.

“I give a lot of credit to the row offi- cers for understanding that anything more than a modest increase is all but out of the question, given the unemployment rate and other economic factors,” Heimel said. “But, we can’t predict the future and it would be totally unfair and unreasonable to freeze salaries for four years.”

Kefover agreed.

Read the rest of this article in tomorrow’s edition of the Endeavor News. Available at local retailers.

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