Alan Ostergren

County Attorney Alan Ostergren presenting on behalf of his office at the Muscatine County Compensation Board's meeting. 

MUSCATINE — The County Compensation Board recommended Monday an across the board salary increase of 3 percent, with 2 percent for board of supervisors and 6 percent for the sheriff's office.

The board met Monday to recommend salaries for fiscal years 2018 and 2019. They meet annually to interview representatives from the board of supervisors, auditor, county attorney, recorder, treasurer and sheriff.

The 2 percent for supervisors was based on past moves by the board of supervisors to set their own salary at 0 percent increase. The 6 percent increase for the sheriff was based on getting the position's salary on par with comparable compensation in the state.

"They start out each year by giving each elected official an opportunity to talk to them about what’s going on," said Nancy Schreiber, director of administrative services for Muscatine County. "Do they have any new projects? Those sorts of things."

According to Tom Spread, a member of the compensation board, the board receives a packet of information to consider from the county.

"It’s a history more than anything," Spread said. "(The county) doesn’t specifically make a recommendation though. What this committee does is make a recommendation to the county board.”

Spread explained that the compensation board surveys other counties' compensation for elected officials as well as Muscatine’s own history of payment for elected officials. They also hold open interviews with representatives from each of the elected offices.

"(Compensation) Board comes up with a recommendation for the year, and that will go to the board of supervisors for them to consider and take action on," Schreiber said. "They have to act on it by the time they adopt the budget at the close of the hearing the following week. They act on it the Monday they receive it."

For the last three fiscal years, Muscatine County paid its elected officials the 14th highest in the state. Alan Ostergren, the county attorney is the eighth highest paid county attorney in the state at $127,327 in fiscal year 2017-18. In the same fiscal year, the county's board of supervisors ranked 83 in the state at $26,820. 

"The Board can either accept it or if they choose to reduce it, they have to reduce everybody except themselves by the same amount," Schreiber said.