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Pay boost for Lane officials proposed.

Byline: Saul Hubbard The Register-Guard

Lane County's five commissioners, its sheriff and its justice of the peace would all see salary increases under a proposal from the county's elected official compensation committee.

The commissioners would get an annual base salary increase to $85,070 from $74,298, a raise of 14.5 percent. The sheriff's salary would jump to $141,570 from $136,234, or 4 percent. And the justice of the peace's salary, for a half-time position, would increase to $48,296 from $25,469, or 90 percent.

The proposal, which was finalized Tuesday evening, is a preliminary one. The salary increases would need to be approved by the county commissioners, who could take up the matter before the end of July.

Commissioners in recent years have repeatedly turned down other proposed salary increases for elected officials.

But, after almost no pay increases for county elected officials since 2008, the commission found the three positions lagging the furthest behind comparable counties.

The committee, made up of five public and private human resources directors, made its recommendation after comparing total compensation packages for the same positions in Clackamas, Deschutes, Jackson and Marion counties.

Under the committee's proposed methodology, the county would average total compensation for each position in those four counties. If Lane County's total compensation for any position is below that number, the proposal adds the difference, in net dollars, to that position's base salary.

Using that method, the committee calculated that the pay and benefits for the district attorney and assessor positions were not below comparable counties. It therefore recommended no immediate pay increases for those jobs.

The committee proposed the new approach after seeing its recommendations disregarded by the county commissioners in recent years.

"We submit, we do our homework and then it gets tabled," said Cheri Billard, HR director at nonprofit Alvord-Taylor.

Committee members acknowledged the political difficulty of approving big increases to elected officials' pay. But "our job is to put forth an appropriate compensation package," said Babs Manion, of SELCO Community Credit Union.

Follow Saul on Twitter @SaulAHubbard. Email saul.hubbard@registerguard.com.

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Title Annotation:Lane County Government; Five commissioners, the sheriff and justice of the peace would all get salary increases
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 15, 2016
Words:349
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