Current County Clerk John Taylor first informed the commissioners at the May 20 board meeting that the board sets the salaries The board must set the salaries 180 days — six months — prior to the start of the term.
The commissioners discussed the issue at previous board meetings and were not in agreement on whether or not to give officeholders a raise.
At this Tuesday’s meeting Massac County State’s Attorney Patrick Windhorst explained the board should have already established the salaries before the first of June. He went on to say that if the board were to pass an ordinance establishing salaries, a taxpayer could potentially sue the county.
Because the circuit clerk’s position is a part of the judicial system, the salary for that office can be set at anytime. After some discussion, Commissioner Jayson Farmer made a motion to increase that salary by 2 percent. The motion was seconded by Jerel Childers and passed. The current salary is $42,410 and would increase to $43,258 beginning Dec. 1.
“So because of the error of the board, the other offices will suffer,” said Farmer, adding, “We’ve being sitting on it week after week.”
“I’ll agree, it’s not right. We should have acted,” said Childers, who had previously indicated he was in favor of giving officeholders a raise in order for the county to entice qualified individuals to run for office.
Farmer also said prior to one meeting he was not able to attend due to work, he had called the commissioners expressing he was in favor of 2 percent raises and urged the board to act.
Commission Chair Jeff Weber pointed out if a candidate who is running for office is “doing their homework,” they should be aware of how much the salary is.
Windhorst explained the salaries of the treasurer, county clerk and sheriff would remain frozen to whatever the last established salary was.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting was Massac County Assessor Gary Hamm to show the board an example of one of the nearly 1600 parcels of land his office will investigate due to “substantial changes,” in the aerial photography that was completed on Nov. 29, 2013.
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