The Johnson County Commissioners held a special public meeting Monday to discuss the request from County Attorney-elect Kenneth DeCock to rescind a 1987 ordinance that caps the deputy positions' salaries in the County to 80% of the elected officials' salary. Aaron Palmer has the report.
At the meeting, DeCock explained that he feels he cannot hire the best qualified deputy attorney for 80% of his salary, and would like the County to give him the flexibility to set the salaries of his employees.
DeCock did say he feels he, as well as all other elected officials, should have that option, as long as they stay within their budgets.
The current County Attorney, Chris Wages, has two deputy attorneys working for him, one of whom is at 80% of Wages' salary at $68,527 and the other making $45,600. Also, the County picks up expenses for SSDI and Medicare for $8,731 and retirement for $14,483 for a total County expenditure of $137,340.
Under DeCock's plan, he will eliminate the part-time deputy position, saving $45,600, and hire a more experienced attorney, offering him or her $80,000 or $85,000 and still be able to save the county between $35,000 to $41,000 per year.
County elected officials and members of the public were in attendance at the meeting, and most spoke on the issue, whether for or against. All seemed to have valid points regardless of their stand.
Those against the change seemed to be concerned with how it may affect other deputies throughout the County, that maybe they would feel the need to ask for raises, which would create budget problems for the various offices.
Those for the change said the elected officials should have flexibility in their salary structure and that it was time for change and to move forward.
After almost two hours of hearing both pros and cons to the idea, the Commission decided to table the issue to digest all of the comments and make a more informed decision. The issue will be brought up again at the January 4th Commission meeting.
County attorney-elect Ken DeCock was asked what happens now.
From the Johnson County News Desk, I'm Aaron Palmer with sheridanmedia.com news.