As vice chair of the Dubuque County Compensation Board, I think that we made a serious error in proposing a double-digit salary increase for the sheriff.

The Compensation Board unanimously approved the position of the sheriff’s advocate since the sheriff is compensated over $13,000 less than peer positions in the five comparable Iowa counties each having approximately 100,000 residents.

The sheriff is compensated as the 11th highest in Iowa and the supervisors are the sixth highest paid in Iowa. Other elected officials have fallen out of their comparability groups in recent years and need to catch up and that can be achieved over time with a long range plan for compensation comparability. The county attorney and recorder are currently ranked No. 9 and the auditor and treasurer are ranked No. 10.

The Compensation Board recommendation placed the supervisors in a bind because of a double digit increase for one elected official at the expense of all other elected officials. It is clear that the supervisors are in no mood for a double digit increase for anyone, hence it is time to communicate and get on the same page by having the supervisors request that the Compensation Board reconvene and reconsider the original recommendation to better serve the welfare of all parties.

The Compensation Board is not in an adversarial relationship with the supervisors but is simply performing its duties as prescribed by the Code of Iowa.