Like clockwork it’s become an annual ritual in which Faribault County commissioners pat themselves on the back at the end of the year.
Despite a pandemic that has brought economic hardship to many, four of the five County Board members approved raising their annual salary at the Dec. 15 meeting.
Commissioner Tom Warmka, who has served 20 years but did not seek re-election in November, hasn’t voted for a pay hike the past several years and he wasn’t about to start now.
“When I was a rookie I voted yes until I figured out what was going on,”says Warmka. “You can’t take a pay raise when there are some people hurting and suffering financially these days.”
Voting in favor of upping their pay from $21,588 to $22,205 a year were commissioners John Roper, Tom Loveall, Greg Young and Bill Groskreutz.
“I don’t think we deserve more money, it’s a good-paying job,” says Warmka. “I didn’t become a commissioner to make a lot of money. It’s a public servant job.”
In addition to the two monthly board meetings and county drainage/ditch meetings, each commissioner serves on various regional and state committees and boards that meet regularly. For this, they earn meeting per diems of $80 for a full day or $40 half a day.
Board members are paid mileage to and from meetings, including the two monthly ones they attend.
Commissioners also are reimbursed for meals eaten outside of the county at a rate of $11 for breakfast, $13 for lunch and $25 for supper.
The county also pays a portion of each commissioner’s monthly health insurance premium with a maximum of up to$1,069 this year.
Roper tops the lists with $2,940 in per diems last year followed by Groskreutz with $2,480; Warmka,$1,860; Young,$1,520; and Loveall, $1,190.