Commissioners set salaries for elected officials

The Susquehanna County Commissioners held a special meeting on Thursday, Nov. 29, to set the salaries for elected officials for four years, beginning in 2020.
Salaries were set for the elected offices that are up for election in 2019: County Commissioners, Coroner, Treasurer, Recorder of Deeds & Register of Wills, and County Auditors.
In 2020 and 2021, the elected officials will see no increase in their pay and will continue to pay 25 percent of their health insurance premiums.
Commissioners Alan Hall and MaryAnn Warren voted in favor of the motion; with Commissioner Elizabeth Arnold sounding a no vote.
A three percent pay increase will take place in 2022, with the insurance premiums going up to 30 percent.
Arnold asked if the raise would be enough to cover the cost of the insurance hike. Hall said it would be.
With another three percent salary increase in 2023, elected officials will pay 35 percent of their insurance premiums.
“How far are we going to go with the insurance,” Arnold asked and again voiced a “no” vote.
Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills Michelle Estabrook asked if the three percent salary increases would be more than the insurance increases, and said she didn’t think it was fair to add another five percent onto the insurance premium payments.
Hall assured the officials that the salary increases would more than cover the insurance premium hikes. He said typically the county has been seeing less than one percent increases in its insurance rates.
Following the vote, approving the salary increases and insurance for 2023, Arnold said she would have preferred to see the insurance premium stay at the 30 percent contribution rate.
“You ought to say that during the discussion,” Hall said.
Hall also explained that the salaries for the elected officials had to remain with no increases for the first two years because of state law to keep the pay of all county offices in line. The clerk of courts/Prothonotary and sheriff offices will be on the ballot in 2021.
“All of the increases have to be the same for everybody,” Hall said. The sheriff and clerk of courts/Prothonotary salaries were set in 2016, prior to the positions appearing on the 2017 ballot.
Hall acknowledged that some of the elected officials were not happy with the salaries. “All of these people ran for jobs knowing what the office pays. If they are not happy with what they are getting paid, they should have never run for the office,” he said.

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