Supervisors Looking To Implement Employee Pay Program

Oskaloosa, Iowa – The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors met on Monday morning, where the most significant topic of the day was a discussion on county employee pay.

Mahaska County human resource consultant Paul Greufe, went before the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors to suggest an approximate $20,000 compensation study to county employee wages.

The study would compare the wages being earned by employees of Mahaska County, versus their counterparts in other counties and the private sector.

One area of contention was raises to two sheriff’s deputies who received large wage increases to bring them up to the same level as their counterparts are being paid. The increase was a result of the dissolution of the union for the sheriff’s department and an agreement with the previous sheriff.

Greufe was recommending that the deputies be given only the cost of living increase for this year, and then to see what the study came back with for next year.

Mahaska County Sheriff Russ Van Renterghem disagreed, saying that salary increases were discussed in his budget meeting last year and are already figured into his budget. “It seems as though an awful lot of controversy came from my budget meeting this year.”

“This isn’t right gentlemen,” said Van Renterghem to the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors. “To cut those two wage increases that you approved.”

Van Renterghem says that wage increases were given if he could cut his budget elsewhere. Something Van Renterghem says he’s done.

“And now you’re wanting to take away these guys raises? They’ve earned it”, Van Renterghem told the board. “They’ve earned the right to be topped out with the other deputies.”

“I just feel it’s wrong if you cut those wages that you approved in my budget,” Van Renterghem added. “It aint right to keep them below the other topped out guys, and it aint right for you guys to go back on your word to me.”

Mahaska County Supervisor Steve Parker agreed, saying that he didn’t like the wage increase as proposed during the budget meeting, but would honor the previous agreements made when the deputies were hired.

Mahaska County Supervisors Mark Groenendyk and Steve Wanders both shared their concerns about going forward with the raises for the deputies.

“We’re just trying to fix a problem here. You’ve got more coming down the road next year right?” asked Wanders of Van Renterghem.

Van Renterghem said that there is one deputy a year for the next three years that will fall into the same category as the two of them this year are in.

Mahaska County Deputy Sheriff Brent DeRonde addressed the Board of Supervisors as one of the deputies whose salary increase has been debated.

DeRonde said that he was told what would happen with his “steps” or wage increases until he eventually topped out. “I don’t want to pay the price for the broken system.”

“I would like the Board to honor the promises that were made,” DeRonde told the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors.

Ultimately the Board approved the wages for 2019-2020 Fiscal Year.

The Board also approved paying Tom Flaherty $100,000 for the newly created Economic Development Director for Mahaska County. Flaherty will be an at-will employee of the County and will answer to the Mahaska County Board of Supervisors.

The Board of Supervisors also held a public hearing on issuing bonds for the township loan agreement for Cedar Township.

Cedar Township will reimburse the county to the tune of $355,000 for the new fire station being built on the edge of Fremont.

Darrin Alderson was appointed to the Veterans’ Affairs Commission, with his term expiring in 2021.

The Board of Supervisors accepted the resignation of Cathy Anderson as civil clerk for the Mahaska County Sheriff’s Office, and the hiring of Chelsea Johnson as her replacement.

The Board also signed a 28E agreement with the City of Rose Hill for police protection. The agreement is for 1 hour of protection for the fiscal year of 2019-2020.

Also approved was a contract with PJ Greufe & Associates for HR services.

The board also heard from Sandy Bailey, who is a trustee of the McQuisten Trust. The Trust evaluates projects from local area governments and gauges those projects versus the original donor’s wishes.

One of the purchases from the McQuisten Trust was the mammoth bones, for approximately $75,000, for the Friends of Mahaska County Conservation, who in turn transferred them to Mahaska County Conservation. That purchase and transfer helped to clean up some legal issues in regards to the bones.

Other projects include Grant Park, New Sharon Veterans Memorial, Edmundson Park, and equipment at Oskaloosa City Hall.

The Mahaska County Board of Supervisors will hold their next scheduled meeting for July 15, 2019, at 9 am in the 3rd Floor Conference Room.

Posted by on Jul 3 2019. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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