No raises for up to four years: St. Clair County Board freezes officials' pay

News-DemocratMarch 31, 2014 

AP GRAPHICS

The St. Clair County Board has approved freezing the pay of nearly all elected officials up to four years.

The board unanimously approved the pay freezes during a meeting Monday night at the St. Clair County Building.

The pay of the sheriff, treasurer, county clerk and County Board members will be frozen through 2018. The pay of the County Board chairman, auditor, circuit clerk, coroner and recorder of deeds will stay the same through 2016.

The difference in the length of the freezes stems from the date elected officials next face election.

The salary of the state's attorney is set by state statute. While the proposal freezes the salaries of elected officials, the county's current budget incorporates a 1.5 percent salary increase for employees.

The only elected officials scheduled to receive a pay raise through 2018 are the three members of the county's Board of Review, which hear property tax appeals. Their $43,286 salaries will jump by 3 percent in 2015 and 2016.

The salary of the sheriff, treasurer, assessor and county clerk is set at $98,766. The salary of the County Board chairman, auditor, circuit clerk, coroner and record of deeds is $95,899. County Board members will receive $19,419 annually.

In other news, the board approved enrolling uninsured inmates in need of prolonged medical care outside of the St. Clair County Jail in the federal health insurance marketplace.

Enrolling these inmates should provide substantial savings for the county, according to County Administrator Dan Maher. The county spent $1.45 million to treat inmates injured or sick in 2013.

"We currently have an inmate receiving long-term cancer treatment, which will cost the county a couple hundred thousand dollars. We are responsible for the cost of inmates having overnight stays in hospitals or outpatient care. In this case, it was outpatient. We have a lot of trouble getting any payment for outpatient and now we will be able to put this cost unto Medicaid," Maher said.

Major Tom Knapp, executive deputy with the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department, said the cost of providing outside medical care to inmates is about $250,000 annually.

Contact reporter Daniel Kelley at dkelley@bnd.com or 618-239-2501.

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