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Controller explains position of salary hike

Published September 06. 2013 05:00PM

One Carbon County official doesn't believe a recent salary move was fair.

During the county salary board meeting on Thursday, the board voted 2-1 to change the rate of the human resources assistant director's salary from $16.78 an hour to $18.34 an hour. Robert Crampsie, county controller, cast the sole "no" vote, while Commissioner William O'Gurek was not at the meeting.

Crampsie explained that the reason for his vote was because it was an issue of fairness.

"It's no reflection on the person," Crampsie said. "In fact, the person moving up has done a great job for us and I think will continue to do a good job. However, the process and the issue of fairness is a concern to me."

He noted that he believed the department head's recommendation for the suggested salary for the new assistant director, named as Lisa A. Marks of Jim Thorpe in the county personnel action report, was fair. The recommendation was an 8 percent raise.

Crampsie explained that the process when a promotion occurs is the department head gives a recommendation for salary to the salary board.

"In a lot of cases the board feels it (the recommendation) is too high or that it is fair," he said. "Very rarely they say it is not high enough, but that's what happened."

Crampsie pointed out that Thursday's action represented an 11 percent pay raise.

"The fairness issue goes back to February of this year when I had a proposal in front of the salary board after my first deputy left," he said, adding that the proposal combined the first and second deputy positions to eliminate one position and save the county taxpayers $37,000 annually.

"She (Susan J. Williams) ended up taking on responsibilities of higher job duties; as well as some of her second deputy duties," Crampsie said. "My recommendation at the time was 11 percent and I was told that was too high."

The salary board eventually settled on an 8 percent raise for Williams.

"Today, the proposal was 8 percent for a savings of $6,843 and the salary board said it wasn't high enough and went to an 11 percent raise, cutting the proposed savings to $5,900," Crampsie continued. "I just look at those two situations and the time period was close and wonder why in February, 11 percent was too high and then in September, 11 percent is OK."

Commissioner Thomas J. Gerhard said that the three commissioners discussed the issue and he and Commissioner O'Gurek felt the 11 percent raise was justified, while Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, was undecided.

"We looked at all the factors and the three of us felt the raise was justified," he said.

Nothstein added that the human resources department was one of the offices that took a hit in personnel decreases.

"in this position, one of the hardest decisions we have to make is trying to be fair to all employees in setting their salaries," he said. "It's not always fair with how the system works."

In other matters, the salary board approved the following salary changes.

• Change the rate of one part-time licensing clerk in the treasurer's office from $10.21 per hour to $9.91 per hour, effective Sept. 5.

• Change the rate of one part-time dispatcher at the Communications Center from $11.36 per hour to $11.03 per hour, effective Sept. 5.

• Establish the position of one human resources generalist at $11.46 per hour, effective Sept. 5.

• Abolish the position of one human resources assistant at $16.51 per hour, effective Sept. 5.

• Change the rate of one assistant purchasing manager from $14.38 per hour to $13.55 per hour, effective Sept. 7.

• Abolish the position of one assistant purchasing manager trainee at $12.04 per hour, effective Sept. 7.

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