July 18, 2024

Supervisors continue compensation board

After a series of plea deals in child sexual assault cases, a victim’s father is questioning the light sentencing in Union County.

Union County Board of Supervisors approved Monday to continue the compensation board in response to state and governor approved legislation earlier this year that eliminated county compensation boards July 1.

The board reviews various information regarding suggested amounts to pay each of the county’s elected positions.

Union County supervisors approved a seven-member board, all who must be county residents. Two members shall be appointed by the board of supervisors; one member each by the county auditor, attorney, recorder, treasurer and sheriff.

The compensation board members for the auditor, sheriff and one for the supervisors will serve four-year terms. Representatives for the recorder, treasurer, attorney and the supervisors will serve two-year terms. After that, the board will have staggered terms. The compensation board has a vacancy for the attorney. County officials will notify the compensation board members as of July 1 to inform them of the supervisors’ actions and their future interests.

Supervisor Chairman Dennis Hopkins said the compensation board will be encouraged to show its sources and reasons for the recommended pay.

According to the Iowa State Association of Counties, the legislation does not prescribe a timeline or deadline for the creation of a compensation board. County officials should consider typical timelines for compensation board deliberations, collective bargaining, pay for other employees, budget development for the work to be finished. Counties have no obligation to establish a compensation board in the first year. The board of supervisors also have the right to take on compensation board duties. The supervisors can also eliminate any future compensation board in the future with a simple majority vote.

For a county to reestablish its compensation board, supervisors must appoint the members. Supervisors do not have to appoint members who were on the board before the legislation took action. ISAC suggested the staggered terms for compensation board members. The compensation board terms will eventually be four years.

The legislation requires compensation board members to “show your work.” That means, members must show their research on how they reached the suggested pay amount for the certain position. Information must include comparable officers in other counties, states, private sector and the federal government.

Board of Supervisors can also adjust the recommended amounts. Those changes can include amounts greater or less than the compensation board’s recommendation. Individual elected officials pay can be treated individually. For example, adjustments do not have to be equal to all. The supervisors are to set the sheriff’s salary so it is comparable to the salaries paid to law enforcement administrators and command officers of the state patrol, Division of Criminal Investigation of the Department of Public Safety, city police chiefs employed by cities of similar population to the population of the county.

In other county news...

Supervisors are encouraging people who use the recycling bins to not leave items on the ground near the bins. That is costing the county additional fees when the bins are unloaded. Supervisors are researching how to still provide recycling with lowered costs. Earlier this year, the county approved an agreement with Waste Management about recycling operations.

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.