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Pitkin County elected officials seek a salary hike

Aspen Times staff report
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN, Colorado – Pitkin County commissioners will consider a roughly 8 percent salary hike for the positions of sheriff, clerk and recorder, and assessor – all positions that are up for election in November.

The wage increase would go into effect next year, at the start of the next four-year term of office for the three positions. Requested is a 4 percent increase for two of the four years after the new terms begin.

Wages for other county employees are frozen this year, and no increase is contemplated in 2011. The sheriff, clerk and recorder, and assessor have asked for a 4 percent salary hike for two of the next four years to reflect the two-year wage freeze in effect for other employees, according to a memo to the commissioners.



Pitkin County has a home rule charter that requires commissioners to set the salaries for the three elected posts. In other counties without a charter, the salaries are set by state statute. For a county of Pitkin County’s size, the statute calls for a sheriff’s salary of $87,700 and a $72,500 salary for both the assessor and clerk.

In Pitkin County, the sheriff currently earns $106,333 annually; the assessor and clerk earn $85,601. The requested increase would hike the sheriff’s salary to $115,010 in 2011; it would go up by $34,707 over four years. The salaries for assessor and clerk would increase to $92,586 in 2011, and by $27,940 over four years.



The salaries for the three posts cannot be increased or decreased during the term of elected office, so commissioners take them up every four years, before new terms begin.

In 2006, commissioners increased salaries for the three posts by 4.4 percent per year, effective starting in 2007. The salaries of other section leaders within county government are typically used for comparison in setting the salaries of the sheriff, assessor and clerk. Current wages for section leaders average $114,875, according to the memo to commissioners, who are scheduled to take up the matter Wednesday.

Commissioner salaries are set by the state.


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