It is now up to the full Tazewell County Board to decide what the occupants of three elected positions will be paid for the next four years, but the Human Resources Committee is giving the board its final picks to help it sort through what it feels is fair.

The Human Resources Committee met Tuesday and considered three options for paying elected positions of treasurer, sheriff and county clerk. 

The three possibilities included a freeze for four years, a two year freeze with a cost of living raise in the final two years of the term, or a 2 percent raise in all four years of the term. The second option proved to be the most popular with the committee, though amendments were made to the proposed salaries. The committee quickly moved in its own directions.

 

The clerk

The Tazewell County Clerks position was the hardest to reach agreement on. 

County Board Member Mike Harris immediately made a motion to reduce the current salary of $83,707 by $20,000. That failed in a 6-4 vote. He then made a motion to slash the current salary by $10,000, which failed in a 7-3 vote.

Retiring Tazewell County Clerk Christie Webb said, “Don’t sell yourself short. This board has always been very frugil and very fair with their raises.” She said new officials come in the door and are expected to do what is required of them with no training. “So I think by reducing this, you’re not doing any favors to the citizens of this county.”

The next amendment froze the salary at $83,707 for two years and added a cost of living adjustment in the last two years of the four year term. The vote failed 4-5. The final motion froze the salary at $83,707 for four years in a 7-3 vote.

 

Treasurer and sheriff

The treasurer’s vote went quickly. The committee voted to freeze the salary at the current $82,157 and, in the last two years of the four year term, add a cost of living increase. The committee voted to freeze the sheriff’s position at $114,000 in the first two years and add a cost of living wage in the last two years of the term.

The full Tazewell County Board will vote on the issue Wednesday, May 30.

The county is facing lean times in the coming years, said Tazewell County Board Administrator Wendy Ferrill. Voters rejected a referendum in March asking for an increase from 0.49 cents to 0.64 cents, or 15 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The county has not increased taxes in many years, and under PTELL, the board cannot make up for that, said Ferrill.

State law requires that the salary be set 180 days before the individual takes office, so the full board has to make a decision by May 31, said Proehl.