By The Gazette Editorial Board
We’ve now heard the case for giving Linn County supervisors a 25 percent raise. And we’re not convinced.
Supervisors Linda Langston and John Harris told us that the board’s 2008 decision to cut its pay to 80 percent of other county elected officials was meant to be temporary. They said the job has become harder, with complex issues, many meetings and lots of public scrutiny. The supervisors contend that the current salary of $74,362 is not enough to attract good candidates to run for supervisor in the future. They insist that $92,953 is a more appropriate pay level, in line with several elected department heads. A vote is expected Wednesday.
The job supervisors do is important and difficult. But this pay increase is too large. Many of the people supervisors serve also are working harder, at jobs that have become more complicated, and, in many cases, have received only small raises in recent years, or none at all. The supervisors seem out of touch with that reality.
The supervisors explained why they deserve more pay, but could not explain how it would benefit their constituents. And with possible property tax cuts on the horizon that could tighten the county’s budget, this is the wrong time for a big raise.
The case is unconvincing. The raise is unnecessary. It should be rejected.
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