Wednesday, February 10, 2016

County council retracts salary increase

Posted on Jan. 13, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 13, 2013 at 1:35 p.m.

GOSHEN — The Elkhart County Council has corrected an error in its 2013 budget that inadvertently gave pay raises to the seven elected officials on the board, according to president John Letherman.

The council members subtracted $5,267 from their budget Saturday about three and a half months after they voted to include the money in their spending plan for this year. In October, Letherman called the salary increase of $752 per council member an “oversight.” He said last weekend, however, that a pay raise in the future is not out of the question.

“If we are in the position at a future time to increase medical reimbursement accounts for everybody, at the time we bring that, I will bring this back,” Letherman told his fellow council members. “At this point, the council is the only organization in county government that has not been restored to the salaries of 2008.”

Councilman David Foutz voted to retract the extra money in the county council’s budget but said he feels like it is time to have salaries reinstated.

“We stepped up and took a cut,” he said. “We were the only elected officials that did that.”

Audie Hostetler, the council’s recording secretary, said base pay for council members is $13,108 plus compensation for additional duties, such as serving on committees or attending extra meetings.

The county’s personnel department has been reviewing salaries and benefits of government employees over the past few weeks. Personnel director Carol Caviness is comparing how much public employees in Elkhart County earn to what people in similar positions make in neighboring counties as well as the private sector. The results of that study are expected to be available in February.