Commissioners OK pay raise for other elected officials

by Jerry Engler

The Free Press

The Marion County Board of Commissioner approved at the Friday, Oct. 30, payday meeting a $6,000 annual raise for county elected officials except county commissioners with ?reconsideration? in two years.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub said elected personnel often are expected to work six days a week, and do their personal tasks plus tend to the needs of their workers.

He said it is only fair to do this because the officials have been going without pay raises while responsibilities have been growing.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said approval was a difficult thing for him to do while some communities he represents have lost on average wage totals over the past decade.

Commissioner Lori Lalouette said she agreed with Dallke that it was difficult to grant a pay raise when many constituents are getting none, but she said it was fair considering the workload.

In the end, all three voted for the measure.

County Attorney Susan Robson joined the session later to ask that any increased pay for her instead be allotted toward adding to $5,000 already approved to hire an assistant attorney especially in cases where she might have a conflict of interest.

The commissioners were meeting in payday session with an $881,067 total monthly payout and a $417,021 county payroll.

County Clerk Tina Spen?cer reported the regular sales tax received from the state the end of October at $59,037.12 and the jail sales tax at $51,519.12.

Dallke said he is increasingly concerned with the dwindling number of volunteer emergency medical technicians available for ambulance service.

To illustrate, Dallke said 30 years ago the county had 25 volunteer EMTs in Peabody alone while today there are only six.

Two ambulance attendants are required for a call, he said, and there was a situation in another part of the county where an attendant had to stand by in an emergency call because a second attendant wasn?t available.

Dalke pointed out that even with many good volunteers for the service, it requires two years of work before they are available to join ambulance crews.

Holub said he is concerned that Marion County may become forced to share paid ambulance attendants with a more populous neighboring county, thereby adding greatly to the response time before an ambulance can arrive at the scene where it is required.

Holub and Lalouette approved a plan by Treanor Architects to remove, and then reseal in courthouse windows at a scaled down rate office by office to spread costs over time.

R. Vance Kelley of Trea?nor estimated the total final cost to the county could vary from several hundred thousand dollars to a little more than a million dollars?in part due to what is required to remove lead paint that is known to be toxic now, but not when it was applied in the last century.

The commissioners agreed to have Bud Druse, director of Household Hazardous Waste, pursue membership in Big Lakes Regional Household Hazardous Waste Program to reduce costs in partnership with counties already involved: Clay, Dick?inson, Geary, Marshall, Morris, Nemaha, Pottawa?tomie, Riley, Wabaunsee and Washington.

Druse said that as one of the less-populated counties, Marion County?s costs would be greatly reduced.

The commissioners approved a road and bridge area fuel bid from Cardie Oil Inc. of Tampa of $9,563 for 5,300 gallons of diesel over a competitive bid of $9,827 from Cooperative Grain & Supply of Hillsboro.

They approved putting up stop signs at the northwest corner and the southeast corner of 190th and Wagon Wheel.

Holub announced that his second annual public ?Take a Shot at Holub? night will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 7 at the Marion County Lake Hall.

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