Sedgwick County employees will be eligible for merit pay raises from a 2 percent pool, Sedgwick County commissioners decided Wednesday.
Commissioners, who make an annual salary of about $84,000, agreed not to take raises next year. Sheriff Robert Hinshaw and Register of Deeds Bill Meek, the only other elected officials present at the meeting, also said they would forgo pay increases.
Commissioner Karl Peterjohn voted against the raise pool, saying that he could not support any elected official accepting raises during tough economic times. He wanted to exempt all elected officials from the raise pool. During budget talks earlier this year, he also wanted to drop the raise pool to 1 percent.
County Manager William Buchanan had recommended a 4 percent pool to draw from for employee raises earlier this year. Commissioners cut the pool to 2 percent when they approved the county's $412 million budget for next year.
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A 4 percent pool would have cost the county about $6.2 million.
County employees who make more than $75,000 did not receive raises this year, and staff who make less than that received 2 percent across-the-board raises.
Peterjohn noted that the state was not awarding its employees raises.
Buchanan in August told commissioners that across the street at City Hall under next year's budget, mid- and upper-level managers will be eligible to draw from a 1 percent raise pool and that some city employees this year received 2.5 percent increases.
A city spokeswoman said then that about 1,200 union employees received 2.5 percent step increases this year. About 1,000 were not eligible because they had reached the cap of their salaries. About 1,000 nonunion employees will be eligible for a 1 percent merit pool next year.