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Mon, Dec. 16

Supervisors give raises to county department heads<BR>

PRESCOTT – Yavapai County supervisors increased nine department heads' salaries last week to bring them more in line with similar government jobs in this state.

Fleet Management Director Dave Burnside received the greatest increase of 18 percent. The other increases ranged from 3 percent to 8 percent. Twelve department heads received no "market adjustments."

The supervisors granted only half of the salary increases necessary to bring the nine department heads in line with the average starting wage in the county's market survey, Human Resources Director Julie Ayers said.

The supervisors haven't talked about whether they will give the department heads the other half, she said; their discussions about these positions have been in closed executive sessions.

The market survey included all of the other Arizona counties as well as the state's municipalities with populations greater than 10,000. "Cities in general pay more," Ayers noted.

All 21 of these non-elected county department directors also received the standard 2 percent raises last week that all the other approximately 1,500 county employees received in July (excluding elected officials).

Non-elected department heads also received performance-based salary increases of as much as 4 percent. Department heads who have worked for the county more than 15 years, already at the top of their pay scales, generally didn't get performance raises.

Three department heads re-ceived 4 percent raises: Public Defender Dan DeRienzo, Hu-man Resources Director Julie Ayers and Records Management Director Carole Miller.

The county supervisors are allocating each department head enough money to provide 2.6 percent performance pay increases to each of their employees next month, too. Department heads then have the option of rewarding employees as much as they choose, as long as they stay within their allocation.

Yavapai County Administrator Jim Holst remains the highest-paid non-elected county employee, at $117,201.

The Legislature sets the salaries of the county's 22 elected officials. The highest paid elected Yavapai County officials are the six Superior Court judges, at $120,750. County Attorney Sheila Polk is next with $96,600,

followed by Sheriff Buck Buchanan at $78,750 and the six justices of the peace at $78,488. The clerk of superior court earns $50,000. The remaining Yava-pai County elected officials – three county supervisors, assessor, recorder, treasurer and schools superintendent – each get $49,875.

The non-elected department heads are among approximately 225 "at-will" county employees, who are managers and professionals with less job protection.

Many of the remaining non-classified, at-will employees as well as the classified employees also have received salary increases, based on market surveys of five similar Arizona counties and the Prescott tri-cities.

Some of those increases still are taking place as the market changes. At Monday's regular board meeting, for example, Ayers will recommend 10 percent salary increases for county nurses as well as pay increases for equipment operators.

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