06/17/13 Last week County Auditor Penny Lukenbill asked members of the County Council to consider a recommendation to elected officials and department heads concerning a wage increase for next year’s budget.
Lukenbill said 2014 budget forms have been given out and are due back in her office July 1st. She asked the council to give guidance in preparing the 2014 budget requests.
Council members gave their suggestions with Council President Matt Hassel noting that the Bremen Town Board suggested a 2 to 3% increase. He did comment that the increase is not keeping up with rising cost of gas and groceries.
Councilwoman Judy Stone said, “I don’t want to disappoint our employees by just throwing out a number.” She continued, “Three percent, but 2% sticks to me. I want to give a raise, but so much comes into play including the health insurance increase.”
Councilman Rex Gilliland said, “I’d like to shot for 3 but I just don’t know.”
Don Morrison’s comments on the wage increase for next year were, “Absolutely no more than 3%.”
The other council members, Jon VanVactor, John Benedict and Steve Harper also suggested a wage increase for next year in the range of 2 to 3%.
Hassel said, “The coconscious is 3% for the budgeting process only.”
The County Council discussion leaned toward a wage increase in 2014 for employees but that amount will not be determined until the council conducts two days of budget hearings in August and then probably not until Budget Adoption in September.