The Pitkin Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday gave the initial OK on salaries for the sheriff, assessor and clerk and recorder through 2018.
The three elected executive positions are responsible for the management of their respective departments. Pitkin County’s charter requires the board to set the salaries for these elected officials every four years.
“We haven’t had a consistent process to determine these salaries or how they should be adjusted,” said County Manager Jon Peacock.
Peacock recommended that the board use a process that incorporates the Colorado County Elected Officials Salary Commission’s recommendations as a market-value midpoint that also would be adjusted for Pitkin County’s increased cost of living. All Pitkin County departments receive the same cost-of-living adjustment.
From that benchmark, elected-executive pay then will be adjusted annually by the amount generally budgeted for all county employees, which currently stands at 3 percent.
The current salary for the Pitkin County sheriff is $109,524 annually, with salaries for the assessor and clerk and recorder at $88,169. Assuming a 3 percent wage increase in a five-year plan, the sheriff salary will increase to $126,968 by the middle of the 2018 calendar year.
The assessor and clerk and recorder salaries will increase to $102,212 in that same five-year period.
“Pitkin County has always erred on the side of trying to offer a competitive salary to attract top candidates,” Peacock said.
The board supported the level of increase being requested but won’t vote to approve the resolution until the proposed increases are brought back at a later meeting for adoption.