County approves compensation policy
April 14, 2022
A new compensation policy has been adopted by the county to guide elected officials and department heads when setting salaries for new employees or offering raises to current staff.
“This is the policy that has been drawn up and proposed to aid the compensation and salary committee that you have appointed,” said Clerk of District Court Tina Wood, who is one of five members of the county’s compensation committee.
“We took Campbell County’s and pared it down to ten pages versus 30 pages.”
A salary matrix that helps place employees in the correct role at the right pay level is something elected officials have been looking to implement for years. The goal was to create a “simplified process” that takes into account such things as experience, longevity, education, performance and compensation levels for the same role in nearby communities.
The Crook County Compensation Plan outlines exactly how all this should be done and will apply to the offices of all elected officials and all county departments, as well as to the library and fair board.
The policy has been adopted with only minor changes from the draft version. For example, Wood made sure the commissioners were aware that, as one of the next steps in setting salaries, an outside company will need to perform a salary survey according to the new policy, which will be an upcoming cost for the county.
This cannot be done in-house to the same standard, she said. Approving the policy would mean approving this part of the process.
The wording of that particular section was changed from “will” to “may” in order to ensure the commissioners have the option to say no to such a survey, either this first time salaries are set or at a point in the future when they are revised.
“Ultimately, the board of county commissioners has control over that because they control the finances,” said Baron.
One change that was ultimately scrapped was to increase the number of members serving on the compensation committee.
“It has been suggested that maybe we go from five members to possibly more,” said Wood, partly due to interest and partly to include a member of a county board.
“They’re a little different to us at the county. They have a different procedure than…here in the courthouse.”
However, the commissioners felt that five was enough because, as pointed out by Commissioner Kelly Dennis, the more people that are involved with the board, the harder it becomes to organize getting everyone together. County Attorney Joe Baron pointed out that others can still attend the meetings and provide input.
The policy was approved after the minor changes had been made.