The pay of the Scotts Bluff County Commissioners and other key elected officials will increase substantially effective January of next year.
The Commissioners will get a 38% pay hike, the Sheriff a 22% hike and the County Attorney and Public Defender 10% and 8% increases under action unanimously approved by the Board Tuesday.
Board Chair Mark Masterton says the Commissioners are trying to get pay to the median of a group of eight counties of similar size as Scotts Bluff County, as recommended by the Nebraska Association of County Officials.
Masterton told KNEB News, “For years we have been the lowest paid commissioners of any of the counties in our array. The reason is because we don’t like to give ourselves a raise. It is the same reason you are questioning me now about how come you got that much of a raise. It’s because we haven’t done anything significant for 25 years. We are all afraid to do it.”
Masterton says while the county has good people in the elected offices, he believes more people will consider running for offices that haven’t had challengers for years.
Beginning next year a commissioner will see an annual pay hike from almost $18,000 to nearly $25,000. The Sheriff’s salary will increase from $72,000 to just over $89,000. The County Attorney will be making just short of $100,000 and the Public Defender almost $85,000.
Elected officials on the ground floor of the Administration Building will only get a 1.7% increase because they are already close to the median. The pay hikes are effective through 2022