MOUNDSVILLE - Although Marshall County commissioners voted to approve a 12-percent pay increase for elected officials, Administrator Betsy Frohnapfel said any current office holders would need to sign a statement before July 1 to accept the raises.
"What we approved ... was to send the information to the (West Virginia) State Auditor's Office for review. Assuming they deem that our financial situation is stable, the current elected officials must sign to agree to accept the raise before July 1 in order to get it," she said.
Senate Bill 1005, passed during the first of two special sessions held following the close of West Virginia's regular legislative session in March, states that elected officials who do not sign will not receive the raise. Once a person is re-elected, or a replacement is elected, the salary increase becomes automatic.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Marshall County Sheriff Kevin Cecil is one of several elected officials who has the option of taking a salary increase because of a new law passed by the state Legislature.
Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin signed the bill into law March 31.
The legislation states that 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.
"These elected officials have not seen a raise in eight years. Their workload has increased considerably over that time," Frohnapfel said.
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. In Marshall County, billions of dollars worth of investments by oil and natural gas companies such as Williams Energy, MarkWest Energy, Blue Racer Midstream, Chesapeake Energy, Chevron and many others are significantly increasing property tax revenue.
In West Virginia, the rate of pay for each elected county officer is established by state code, based on the total assessed property value in that county. Based on information from the state Auditor's Office and the new law, elected officials in the Northern Panhandle could see their annual salaries increased as follows: