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SIOUX CITY | The County Compensation Board has proposed increasing salaries by 2.75 percent next year for the Woodbury County Board of Supervisors and the other four county elected officials.

Al Sturgeon, chairman of the Woodbury County Compensation Board, reported Thursday on the action of the short Wednesday meeting.

Sturgeon said the 2.75 percent recommendation came on the second motion of the session. The first proposal was to give a 1 percent raise to the five county supervisors and 2.75 for the other four elected officials, which includes County Attorney P.J. Jennings, Auditor Pat Gill, Sheriff Dave Drew and Treasurer Mike Clayton.

That proposal was defeated, then the 2.75 percent plan was affirmed.

"It is fair. It provides a modest, but fair increase," Sturgeon said.

Sturgeon noted the 2.75 percent raise is equal to what the county supervisors announced two weeks ago that they plan to give department heads and non-union county workers. Union members who work for the county will receive raises in the range of 2.5 percent to 3 percent in the 2018-19 fiscal year beginning July 1.

The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors must vote on the compensation board recommendations by March 15, which is the deadline for the supervisors to finalize their fiscal year 2018-19 budget.

Each Iowa county has a county compensation board to recommend the level of pay to prevent the elected officials from approving it directly.

In Woodbury County, two members are appointed by the supervisors and one each is named by the county attorney, auditor, sheriff and treasurer. The comp board members are Sturgeon, Brian Buckmeier, Frank Baron, Angela Kayl, Doug Phillips and Jeremy Cross.

Under state law, the county supervisors can approve or reject the recommendations, or reduce the increases by the same percentage.

The current annual pay includes $39,469 for supervisors chairman Rocky De Witt and $33,151 each for the four other supervisors, plus $123,221 for Jennings, $102,534 for Drew, $86,316 for Gill and $84,168 for Clayton.

Last year, the compensation board recommended no raise for the five supervisors, 5 percent for Clayton and Drew, and 4 percent for Jennings and Gill. The supervisors a month later approved no raises for themselves, then halved the recommended other raises, dropping them in the range from 2 percent to 2.5 percent.

Two years ago, the compensation board proposed 5 percent raises for all the county elected officials. By a 4-1 vote, the supervisors ultimately reduced the increase to 3 percent.

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County and education reporter

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