All 3 county commissioners to donate 10 percent of pay

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By the numbers

Salaries of Routt County

elected officials

Surveyor $3,300

Coroner $33,100

Commissioners (3) $58,500

Clerk and recorder $58,500

Assessor $58,500

Treasurer $71,000

Sheriff $76,000

Source: Routt County 2009

Adopted Budget

All three Routt County commissioners voluntarily are participating in the 10 percent countywide pay cuts they unanimously adopted April 1.

Elected officials were not affected by the resolution adopting the pay cut because their salaries are set by the state Legislature and cannot be changed during their term in office. At their discretion, however, elected officials may donate a portion of their salaries back to the county. Or, to take advantage of tax deductions, elected officials can donate a portion of their salaries to community service agencies funded by the county. The county then will reduce its 2009 contribution to agencies by the same amount.

Routt County Personnel Director Chris Hensen said four elected officials have donated money directly back to the county or to a county-funded charity. They are Commissioners Diane Mitsch Bush, Doug Monger and Nancy Stahoviak, and Treasurer Jeanne Whiddon.

"As far as the other elected officials, they may have made a contribution, but maybe they didn't let accounting know yet," Hensen said.

The 10 percent cut is expected to save more than $1 million this year as the county works to address a $4.9 million deficit in its budget.

"It wasn't so much a situation of if I was going to do it, but how the hell it was going to work," Monger said. "What's fair for (other county employees) is fair for me, too. I'm trying to do my part just like everybody else is trying to do their part, so that's what I'm going to do."

Mitsch Bush agreed.

"For me, I made a decision to cut the employees' pay by 10 percent," she said. "Since I made that decision, it just seemed natural to me that my pay be cut by 10 percent. I didn't even really think about it."

Clerk and Recorder Kay Weinland said she also will be contributing 10 percent of her salary but still is in the process of gathering information and evaluating her options. Coroner Rob Ryg said he did not wish to discuss the situation.

"It's kind of a personal thing. I don't want to say what I'm doing," Ryg said. "It's not anybody's business. : It's a private thing, and we're going to keep it that way."

Sheriff Gary Wall also said he will handle his salary privately.

"The last thing I'm going to do is give 10 percent of my salary to the county commissioners to do what they want to," said Wall, who opposed the across-the-board pay cuts and has challenged the commissioners' authority to impose pay cuts on the departments of elected officials. "I don't like that 10 percent cut. I don't think it was fair. I don't think it was right. The last card has not been played on that."

Wall said he does and will continue to donate a portion of his salary to charitable organizations, but he would not say whether he will increase his giving by an amount equal to 10 percent of his salary. He also said he will not report his contributions to the county.

"I'm not going to report to them anything about what I'm doing," Wall said. "I'm not going to get involved with those games. : I will continue to donate a sizable amount of my salary to charity and benefits. : Exact percentages - I'm not going to get into that."

Assessor Mike Kerrigan previously said he would not voluntarily participate in the pay cut.

Comments

tcb 4 years, 12 months ago

Good start, BCC. Thank you for stepping forward to accept what you've also doled out. That's fair and you are to be commended for that. Heck, it's time for all the elected officials to do the same and show solidarity with their employees and to show some leadership. For those that don't....shame on you and see you at the balletbox next time.

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sickofitall 4 years, 12 months ago

OK. How about term limits on Congress now?? Baby Steps...Baby Steps..

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BoatNative 4 years, 12 months ago

Sickofitall,

Yes, the next logical step in this progression would obviously be term limits on Congress. . . good thinking

Sometimes idealism just sounds ridiculous. . .

BCC, this is great. I think all of Routt County really appreciates your dedication.

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jerry carlton 4 years, 12 months ago

Good for the commisssioners. I just wish they had announced this on the day the announced the pay cuts. Wall continues his war with the commissioners which started almost on the day he was elected. The first go round was that the county was not going to pay his friend undersherrif Bustos enough money when Wall hired him. This is the same Bustos that took a county car to Utah and wrecked it while allegedly buying office furniture. Never did hear whether it was furniture for the sheriffs office or his personal office? Why did he have to go to Utah for furniture? No furniture in Steamboat? What happened to buy local? But Bustos looks like a choir boy compared to Wall who as we all know was convicted of DWAI. Was the jury in on the "set-up" which Wall accused the State Patrol of Inflicting on him? I have never met Wall or Bustos and hope I never do because I would probably be thrown in jail for my comments. I do know a little about the ethics and workings of a jail and sherrifs office as I worked as a corrections officer for 5 years at Yakima County Jail in Yakima Washington before moving to Steamboat 11 years ago. Sherrif Wall has turned his time in office into a giant soap opera in which the viewing public anxiously awaits the next installment. I can only hope that the voters elect some more like John Warner than reelecting Gary Wall. I also have never met John Warner but he appeared to be very professional in his conduct , a far cry from what we are subjected to know.

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JLM 4 years, 12 months ago

Soap opera? Absolutely perfect description. Perfect.

Unfortunately, soap operas are fiction and this is real life.

Time to get rid of these fictional characters.

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jerry carlton 4 years, 12 months ago

Amen. That is about the only reason I write on these postings. I am hoping that maybe I can sway one voter in the next election to elect a competent law enforcement officer as sheriff, not an ex private detective/ ex Vail police chief. As for the commissioners, I do not think they are that bad but the threat of taking away the benefits of the sheriff's office was foolish, bad publicity and probably illegal. Their roots are sunk so deep in the old courthouse probably no one can uproot them. Too bad the voters of this county did away with term limits. That is the biggest problem in this country. We are governed by a bunch of professional politicians from top to bottom.

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goremtn 4 years, 12 months ago

Your move, Sheriff. (PS--this has nothing to do with term limits, I don't see the connection at all there.)

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housepoor 4 years, 12 months ago

"It's kind of a personal thing. I don't want to say what I'm doing," Ryg said. "It's not anybody's business. : It's a private thing, and we're going to keep it that way." It not a "personal thing" for the other 200+ county employees who read about the fate of their employment every other day in the morning paper............

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