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Carroll County Board of Supervisors approve a 54% reduction of original salary recommendations

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After an hour of discussion, the Carroll County Board of Supervisors approved salary increases for county officials, but at a 54% reduction of what the Carroll County Compensation Board recommended.

On Dec. 7, the Carroll County Compensation Board met inside the courthouse to discuss salary adjustments for the 2023 Fiscal Year.

As previously reported by the Times Herald, the Compensation Board agreed to a 12% increase for the County Treasurer, an 18% increase for the County Recorder, a 22% increase for the County Auditor, 20% increase for the County Attorney, a 28% increase for the County Sheriff, and a 12% increase for the Board of Supervisors.

Paul Greteman, who represented County Sheriff Ken Pingrey, requested the 28 percent increase for the County Sheriff due to the Back the Blue Bill signed by Gov. Kim Reynolds last year. The bill requires counties to pay its sheriff a rate comparable to police chiefs in cities of similar population to the counties.

Members of the Board of Supervisors shared their frustrations with the Iowa Legislators influencing the county budget. Although Gene Meiners said the Compensation Board was “dealt with a bad deck of cards,” he went on to say they’ve put the Board of Supervisors in a bad position.

Rich Ruggles shared his disapproval with the situation as well, but said he understood the reasoning behind the Compensation Board and their suggestion for the County Sheriff.

“I can’t blame the comp board on this one, I’ve got to blame the legislators on this one,” Ruggles said. “They set the tone.”

“They were doing exactly as they were told, that’s my opinion. Did I agree with it? No, I don’t, but they were doing exactly as they we’re told,” Ruggles said. 

Meiners said he wanted to reduce the recommendations by 50%, saying the suggested salaries could result in a trickle-down effect. 

Dean Schettler agreed with a 50% reduction as well.

“I think 50 percent is a good place to be,” Schettler said. “I think that’s going to be more acceptable to a larger population of the Carroll County taxpayers.”

Scott Johnson said Carroll County has worked for years to adjust the sheriff’s salary to a fair number, with anything less than 75% of the initial recommendation being too low. The Board of Supervisors is required to adjust the sheriff’s salary at the same rate as the other elected officials.

A motion for a 50% reduction was proposed, but failed after not securing enough votes. After several suggestions, the Board of Supervisors couldn’t compromise on a number due to lack of votes or lack of a second.

“I don’t know what to do, no one’s compromising so either we come up with a compromise or we’re going to table this, and I don’t want to table it,” Chair Stephanie Hausmann said. “We’ve got other items on the agenda that we’ve got to get to.”

Ruggles motioned for a 54% reduction rate, with Schletter compromising with a second. The motion passed, with Hausman and Johnson voting against it. 

The next Carroll County Board of Supervisors meeting will be on Jan. 17, beginning at 9 a.m.

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