Metro-East News

St. Clair County Board approves pay raises for some elected positions

St. Clair County Board honors Althoff boys basketball team

The St Clair County Board on Monday honored the Althoff Catholic High School boys' basketball team for its 2016 state championship.
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The St Clair County Board on Monday honored the Althoff Catholic High School boys' basketball team for its 2016 state championship.

In a 15-10 vote, the St. Clair County Board on Monday approved salary raises for the county auditor, circuit clerk, recorder of deeds and coroner. The current salary for each is $95,899.

Under the pay schedule, there would be an average increase of $719.25 a year over four years to bring the four positions to $98,776, the same as the sheriff, assessor, treasurer and county clerk.

The salary increase amounts to a pay raise of 3 percent over the four-year period.

Both the county chairman position, which has a salary of $95,899, and county board members’ pay, which is $19,419 a year, will stay the same until 2020.

“We’re really the ones who meet on the budget, so I think this is good public policy,” said Chairman Mark Kern.

Board members Robert Allen, Michael Baker, June Chartrand, Marty Crawford, Jerry Dinges, Ken Easterley, Angela Grossmann-Roewe, Lorraine Haywood, Curtis Jones, Roy Mosley Jr., Lonnie Mosley, Dixie Seibert, Ken Sharkey, Bob Trentman and Richard Vernier voted in favor of the pay increase.

County Board members Fred Boch, Ed Cockrell, Frank Heiligenstein, Craig Hubbard, Nicholas Miller, Michael O’Donnell, Stephen Reeb, Larry Stammer, David Tiedemann and John West voted against the increases.

Board members Carol Clark, Oliver Hamilton, Joseph Kassly and Joan McIntosh were absent from the meeting.

Cockrell pointed out at the meeting budgets have been cut by 10 percent in the county and asked why salaries would be increased.

“I think it would be better public policy would be to freeze everybody’s salary,” Cockrell said.

Cockrell then recommended those elected positions with the higher pay be reduced in two years.

“I think if it’s one person, that’s too many, if it’s any amount, it’s too many,” Cockrell said.

Director of Administration Debra Moore said the county auditor, circuit clerk, recorder of deeds and coroner, and county chairman positions did not have a salary adjustment in 2012 as a way to save money. In 2014, salaries of the county board chairman, auditor circuit clerk, coroner and recorder of deeds were frozen at $95,889 through 2016, and the sheriff, assessor, treasurer and county clerk were frozen at $98,776 through 2018, and county board members were frozen at $19,419 through 2018.

Members of the Board of Review, who consider property tax appeals will see their pay increased from $45,922 to $47,300 in 2018, under the proposal. That salary is in place until 2022.

The state’s attorney’s salary is set by state statute.

Compensation for people in an elected position must be set in an ordinance six months before the start of a term and cannot be changed during the term, under state law.

In November, the coroner, auditor, circuit clerk, recorder of deeds, county board chairman, one board of review seat and 20 county board seats are up for election.

In other board items

▪  County Board members voted to allow a trucking company to build a location along Rieder Road near Lebanon.

Balo Services plans to construct a 4,800-square-foot building, which would have three bays for trucks. Owner John McDonald Jr., of Aviston, estimates construction of the building would cost about $150,000. He has said he hopes to have the building completed by the new year.

▪  A plan to expand the building of a sign business was approved by the county board.

Signs N’ Such plans to build a 30-foot-by-48-foot addition to its existing location, to be used mainly for storage. However, owner Christopher Thomas reserved the right to expand business operations into the space in the future if needed.

The current building is 1,200 square feet and is along Illinois Street near Caseyville.

▪  County board members approved a change order for the ongoing Bunkum Road project. County officials estimate the project will cost about $81,640 more than the original $5.76 million contract, which was awarded to Baxmeyer Construction out of Waterloo.

According to documents from the St. Clair County Department of Roads and Bridges, the existing soil conditions have high silt content and is not cohesive with excessive moisture.

To stabilize the base for the road project, project engineers are adding cement to the base.

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter