Elected Officials Getting Pay Hike

MOUNDSVILLE – The pay for all Marshall County elected positions will increase by 12 percent July 1 because of a law approved by the West Virginia Legislature earlier this year.

During a meeting of the Marshall County Commission on Tuesday, commissioners Don Mason, Brian Schambach and Bob Miller voted to increase elected officials’ pay by 12 percent, in compliance with Senate Bill No. 1005. According to the Legislature’s website, Senate President Jeff Kessler, D-Marshall, introduced the bill that Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed into law March 31.

The bill stipulates elected officials wishing to accept the raise must sign for it. Officials who don’t sign will not receive the raise. Once a person is re-elected to office, or a replacement is elected, the raise becomes automatic.

In addition to the commissioners, those eligible to receive the 12-percent increase include the sheriff, prosecutor, assessor, county clerk and circuit clerk.

The legislation states elected county leaders receive new tasks each year.

“The new and additional duties imposed upon the aforesaid county officials by these enactments are such that they would justify the increases in compensation,” it states.

According to the legislation, a county’s revenue must be increasing sufficiently to be able to cover the increased expenses caused by the pay raises. This is not a problem in Marshall County, as billions of dollars worth of investments by oil and natural gas companies are significantly increasing property tax flows.

In approving the fiscal year 2015 budget of $17.1 million earlier this year, commissioners voted to give each of their 103 full-time employees $1,500 pay raises, which will also be effective July 1.

County Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel said each elected official will have the discretion to distribute the raises as they see fit, so it is possible for some employees to get slightly more or less than the $1,500 amount.

The $17.1 million fiscal 2015 budget includes both general fund revenue of $13.6 million and coal severance revenue of $3.5 million. The budget is $382,579 more than the one approved at this time last year, an increase Frohnapfel attributes to constantly increasing property valuations throughout the county.