Saturday, May 24, 2014
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Logan County Board sets elected salaries, approves Deer Creek bridge replacement, and recognizes Railer Basketball Team

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[May 24, 2014]  LINCOLN - The Logan County Board met on Tuesday to continue their discussions and vote on motions entered the previous Thursday. The primary topics of the night were the potential salary increases of the elected officials and the efforts to create a more unified structure of economic development groups.

Before moving on to more serious business, the board chose to honor the youth of the community by recognition of accomplishment through athletics.

Recognition of LCHS Basketball Team

Board member Jan Schumacher read a board resolution recognizing the efforts of the Lincoln Community High School Boys Basketball team. This past season, the LCHS Boys Basketball team brought home the IHSA Class 3A State Runner-Up trophy. Coach Neil Alexander and half of the basketball team were present to hear Schumacher read from the recognition.

“It was real gratifying to me as a coach to coach these guys and for them to play the way that I think basketball should be played. Very unselfish, they didn’t care about points or statistics or anything, they only had one goal in mind,” said Alexander. “They represented our community with great pride. I’m proud of them as their coach.”

Salaries of elected officials

The Finance committee recently discussed the potential raising of salaries for elected officials working in the county. The current positions and officials under review are for clerk and recorder filled by Sally Litterly; treasurer, represented by Vicki Dugan; and sheriff, filled by Steve Nichols. Every four years, the county board has to decide whether or not the salaries of these officials will be altered before setting them for another four years.

Several board members have said that they have been reading through a list of salaries for clerks, sheriffs, and treasurers in surrounding counties, and they all came to the conclusion that Logan County’s wages for these positions are in the lowest ranges in the area.

In the past the board has provided a percentage increase per year for each of the four years to these officials. In addition, elected officials do not receive raises as the other county employees do when the annual budget is passed.

The original motion made was an adjustment to the salaries by three percent each year for the next four years. After some quick math, the committee adjusted the motion to increase Dugan’s salary by $1,700; Litterly’s by $1,800; and Nichols’ by $2,000. This amount would be added each year of the four years, bringing the total to $22,000 over the four year period. As was the case at the workshop meeting, board members made amendments to raise the adjustments.

Anderson said he would support raises for the elected officials, but not if they are so high. “None of the other courthouse employees have gotten five percent raises,” said Anderson.

David Hepler said he wants to see the elected officials receive a salary that is more in line with their peers in surrounding counties. Kevin Bateman said that he supports the idea not because of their peers, but because the officials have put in so many years of hard work and dedication. “Instead of trying to match what everybody makes or compare them to somebody else, I believe someone deserves a raise based on the merit of the job that they do, not just the title,” said Bateman.

Anderson added to that, saying that when the same conversation was had concerning the board secretary’s salary as compared to other counties, “it fell upon deaf ears,” yet they were having the same type of conversation now more easily.

Following the discussion held by the whole board, those numbers were adjusted by amendment as follows:

  • An amendment was made by board member Rick Aylesworth to raise the adjustment for the county clerk’s salary to $3,000 each year for the four years. Board member Rohlfs made a separate motion to increase the salary by $3,000 the first year, with $1,800 every year after that. Rohlfs’ motion failed to pass, and Aylesworth’s motion was approved. The increase was approved with a vote of eight to three, with Anderson, Blankenship, and Rohlfs voting no.

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  • Board member Chuck Ruben made a motion to amend the increase to the sheriff’s salary to $2,500 every year for four years. Ruben’s motion passed, and the salary adjustment passed with a vote of eight to three, with Anderson, Blankenship, and Rohlfs voting no.
  • Ruben also made a motion to amend the increase to the treasurer’s salary to $2,300 each year for four years. The amendment and the vote for the increase both passed unanimously.

Deer Creek bridge replacement

County Engineer Bret Aukamp was present at the meeting to make an announcement. Aukamp said that the county Highway Department has been awarded $1.7 million as part of IDOT’s Major Bridge Program. The money will be used to replace the Deer Creek Bridge just south of Lincoln.

“Only seven local entities were awarded this money, and we were one of them,” said Aukamp.

Currently, the Deer Creek Bridge suffers from “significant structural issues.” The bridge was temporarily closed during the summer of 2013. It was reopened with new weight restrictions in place.

Aukamp said that this money needs to be combined with a local match in order for the county to claim the funding. “This does allow us to free up some money and spread it out over other bridges in the county,” said Aukamp.

New board member appointment

The board members present unanimously approved the appointment of David Blankenship to the Logan County Board. Blankenship will be representing District 1 in county. He would fill the opening created in March by the death of Bill Martin.

County Clerk Sally Litterly swore Blankenship in and he took his seat with the board members.

Just last month the board approved Emily Davenport to fill the seat vacated in December by Terry Carlton. With Blankenship’s appointment, the board returns to full occupancy with 12 members, two from each of six districts.

Board members present at the meeting were Vice-Chairman David Hepler; Kevin Bateman, Rick Aylesworth, Chuck Ruben, Gene Rohlfs; Chairman Robert Farmer; Jan Schumacher, Emily Davenport, David Blankenship, Andy Anderson, and Andy Meister. Pat O’Neill was absent.


See discussions of unified structure of economic development groups:
County: More consultant work needed before it approves Unified Organization

See news release regarding Deer Creek Bridge funding:
County announces funding award for Deer Creek Bridge


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