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County's proposed budget has no raises for commissioners

 Posted: 1:10 PM April 09, 2013

The Jackson County commissioners and sheriff won't get salary increases under Jackson County's proposed budget for 2013-14.

Salary review committee members approved the measure today. The move will save the county about $204,000, a small portion of the general fund's $7 million shortfall.

"It's a no-brainer," said Commissioner Doug Breidenthal of the move. "We can't ask for a pay increase while we're cutting dollars."

The proposed total budget is $301.9 million.

The budget doesn't include cost of living increases for elected officials and department managers. The commissioners and sheriff wouldn't receive step increases either. Department management from the assessor's, clerk's, district attorney's, justice of the peace and surveyor's offices would still be eligible for step increases. (Correction: This story has been updated to clarify which elected officials would see no raises under the proposal.)

"It would be awkward for me to be implementing pay increases and turn around and ask our collective bargaining units not to," County Administrator Danny Jordan said.

That still leaves the question of what to do with the remaining budget gap. The county's budget committee, administrator and commissioners will meet this week during budget hearings to sort out the county's 2013-14 budget.

The option to use rainy day reserves to make up the general fund difference is on the table unless budget committee members can find cuts.

Officials say public safety departments including the sheriff, community justice and the district attorney's office could face a larger portion of potential cuts than in past years. Under the proposed budget, the DA would have to cut three positions, community justice would need to cut the equivalent of 10.75 full-time jobs. The sheriff's department would leave 21 or so positions vacant to bring budget targets in line.n (Correction: The potential cuts have been updated.)

"You'll see a larger portion of the funds coming from public safety," Jordan said.

— Ryan Pfeil

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