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Supervisors consider raising their meeting pay

Pierce County Board members will vote next month on whether to give themselves or future board members a raise next spring.

The proposal to increase regular pay for committee meetings from $35 to $47 and for County Board meetings from $50 to $70 was introduced and discussed briefly at the Oct. 27 board meeting.

Chairman Paul Barkla, noting that board pay hasn't been raised in 12 years, said Supervisor Rich Purdy suggested the raises. The River Falls area supervisor, who was not at the meeting, recommended tying the board increase to the percentage increases negotiated for employees.

"I'm opposed to it," said Barkla, explaining that the board has asked departments to cut back and streamline and should set an example.

But if a board raise is considered in the future, he would favor linking it to the percentage increases given to employees, he added.

Supervisor Jeff Holst of Diamond Bluff disagrees with that approach

"It taints the process," he said.

Holst and other supervisors said they are not in favor of increasing County The proposal also would increase the pay for long meetings -- those lasting over four hours -- from $50 to $70; the pay for attending two consecutive meetings from $50 to $70; and the pay for attending three meetings in one day from $70 to $90.

In 2008, the per diem and expenses paid to the 17 County Board members ranged from $17,980 for Barkla, who served as both board chairman and interim administrative coordinator, to $1,423 for Supervisor Ben Plunkett, River Falls.

The average paid to the 16 supervisory positions (excluding Barkla) in 2008 was $3,560.