SYCAMORE – DeKalb County Board members will soon get a per diem salary raise for attending meetings, and other elected county officials are looking at 2% annual salary increases following a recent DeKalb County Board vote.
The DeKalb County Board voted this month to approve the 2% annual raises for the county clerk and recorder, treasurer and sheriff, along with a 5.9% per diem wage increase for County Board members. DeKalb County Vice Chairwoman Suzanne Willis and board members Kiara Jones, Terri Mann-Lamb, Jerry Osland and Rukisha Crawford were absent from the meeting.
The raises will go into effect “for the terms beginning after November 8th, 2022,” Tim Bagby, the county board finance committee’s chair, said during the June 16 meeting.
County Board members currently are paid $85 per meeting, which has been in effect since fiscal year 2019. The increase will make the new wage $90 per meeting, according to county documents.
Currently, the county clerk and treasurer are making $100,800 per year. The sheriff currently is at a $143,900 salary.
According to county documents, the County Board chairman and vice-chairman salaries will not see increases in the next two fiscal years. Currently, the board chairman makes $10,000 per year and vice-chairman makes $5,000 per year.
Committee chairs also will not see salary increases in the next couple of fiscal years and currently are at $75 per month.
During a June 2 county finance committee meeting, County Board members and committee members previously discussed the raises.
DeKalb County Board Chairman John Frieders, who also is part of the committee, said during the June 2 meeting he believes those in the positions currently should get a raise, especially if other county officials are looking at raises in the coming years.
“To say to freeze their salaries or something, I don’t think that’s proper,” Frieders said.
Committee member Jim Luebke said a lot of the county’s elected officials haven’t seen wage increases for a while anyway.
“I don’t see a reason why we should change county board member on up,” Luebke said. “ ... Why ask taxpayers to pay more?”
Bagby said he understands Luebke’s point and the county previously squared up the circuit clerk’s salary to better align with other county official salaries a few years ago. However, Bagby harkened back to a discussion he once had with his child’s babysitter and how her expectations as a full-time babysitter were to have a wage that respects her time.
“I think, at a certain point, the ... salary needs to be respectful of people’s time,” Bagby said.