Cass County sets 2005 salaries

Published 5:39 am Friday, October 22, 2004

By Staff
CASSOPOLIS - Cass County commissioners on Thursday set elected officials' 2005 salaries:
Prosecuting attorney, $76,000.
Sheriff, $63,500.
Clerk-Register, $46,800.
Treasurer, $46,500.
Drain Commissioner, $36,000.
The Elected Officials Salaries Committee met Sept. 7, Sept. 21 and Oct. 5 to review salary data from the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan, salary data collected from 11 other counties, salary data from Drain Commissioner Jeff VanBelle and correspondence from Treasurer Linda Irwin and Clerk-Register-elect Barb Wilson.
The committee met with Sheriff Joe Underwood and County Administrator Terry Proctor.
The committee studied what the pay range is for similar work and positions in other Michigan county governments.
Each position was evaluated individually.
The committee recommended a salary for each.
It did not recommend raises or wage freezes based on performance or across-the-board or cost-of-living raises for all.
The committee recommended that the drain commissioner salary be considered full-time.
The Elected Official Salaries Committee also studied the compensation of Boards of Commissioners in other counties.
Cass County has one of the lowest salaries and is one of the few counties that doesn't also pay an additional per diem for meetings.
The committee recommended annual salaries of $8,750 for chairperson, $7,500 for vice chairperson and $7,250 for commissioners elected Nov. 2 who will be serving on the 2005-2006 board.
Commissioner Carl Higley, R-Edwardsburg, was unsuccessful in attempting to amend proposed board salaries by reducing them by $2,000 each to save the county $30,000 for the 15 positions. Proctor unveiled the proposed 2005 budget commissioners hope to have adopted by the end of November.
Department requests totaled $11.1 million. Proctor wants to see that number whittled to $10.7 million. While that would be almost $3 million less than 2004 spending, the 2005 budget is for nine months, Jan. 1-Sept. 30, as the county reconfigures its fiscal year. The 2004 budget covers the 12 months of the calendar.