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Sheriff, clerk of court salaries delayed

2014 is an election year for the sheriff and clerk of court in Pierce County. 

And before nomination papers can be filed, it’s required their annual compensation for the next four years be set.

The Finance and Personnel Committee discussed the matter in depth during their first 2014 meeting Monday.

Sheriff Nancy Hove will be earning a salary of $75,275, as she starts her final year of her second term. A comparison of 2014 salaries from area counties (Polk, St. Croix, Dunn, Trempealeau and Pepin) showed Hove only earning more than Pepin. In the case of Polk, St. Croix and Dunn, she’s $8,000 to $9,000 behind.

Clerk of Court Peg Feuerhelm’s salary for 2014 is $58,124. A contrast of salaries from the same five counties listed Feuerhelm making more than Polk and Pepin, and within $2,500 of both Dunn and Trempealeau. St. Croix was the highest at $63,786.

The committee had multiple options: increase the base salary, do a salary increase for the next four years or do nothing.

And it was obvious from the beginning, the committee was split.

Mel Pittman presented a motion of a 1.25 percent salary increase per year over the next four years with no adjustment to the base salary for both positions. That motion died for lack of a second.

After further discussion, Jerry Kosin presented the same motion. Jon Aubart said he was uncomfortable, as the committee “was pulling numbers out of a hat.” He felt the sheriff’s base salary should be up, closer to Dunn and Polk, because he believed Pierce was similar to those two in size.

Dan Reis echoed Aubart’s thoughts and felt uneasiness deciding salaries for the next four years when, for example, he didn’t know benefit packages for the other counties.

Kosin’s motion was put to a vote with three in favor (Kosin, Pittman and Ken Snow) and two against (Reis and Aubart). Committee Chairman Jeff Holst agreed with Reis and Aubart, and because Greg Place was absent, the final vote was 3-3, meaning the request was postponed for another month.

For more please read the January 8 print version of the Herald. 

Jason Schulte

Jason Schulte is a reporter for the New Richmond News since February 2015. Prior to that he spent eight years at the Pierce County Herald in Ellsworth. His duties with the News will include covering news out of Hammond and Roberts along with action from St. Croix County court system. He lives in Roberts. 

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