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June 25, 2013 | 03:59 PMELKHORN — After the next election, county board supervisors will see a $100 a month pay raise, and the chairperson will see a monthly increase of $200.
During the June County Board meeting, the supervisors approved the pay change on an 8-3 vote. Supervisors Tim Brellenthin, Ken Monroe and Carl Redenius voted against the increase.
In May, the same ordinance failed on a 7-3 vote. An increase in supervisor pay requires approval from two-thirds of the total board, or eight votes. Last month, Supervisor Richard Brandl was absent from the board meeting. However, the week after the meeting, he said he would support the pay increase.
"I'm normally pretty conservative, but I think whoever is going to be there deserves an increase," Brandl said in May. "I think its time to do it, and it will probably be another 10 years before it gets done again."
After the next election, supervisors will earn $600 a month and the chairperson will be paid $1,200 a month.
Although the board approved the ordinacne without discussion during the June meeting, board members voiced their opinions during the May meeting.
Here is what they said:
"I think the board needs that, they have earned it," Supervisor Jerry Grant, of Whitewater said of the increase.
Supervisor Joe Schaefer, of Lyons, said he was paid more for his work as a supervisor when he was first elected than he is today. Schaefer, the longest-serving board member, was elected to the board in 1974.
"I was making a heck of a lot more in the 1970s and 1980s," he said.
During the debate on pay raises, Supervisor Tim Schiefelbein was the first supervisor to voice opposition.
"I would be opposed to an increase in supervisor salaries," Brellenthin, of rural Elkhorn said.
Supervisor Rick Stacey, of rural East Troy, said his first response was to agree with Brellenthin. However, he said the amount of time supervisors spend doing their jobs is incredible.
"It is a lot of travel, and it is a lot of speaking to constituents," Stacey said. "There is a lot of work involved."
Supervisor David Weber, of Williams Bay, said it is a question of respect for the position.
"None of us are running for office for the level of compensation," Weber said.
Some of the supervisors argued for a pay raise for the chairwoman and not the supervisors.
"I would support an increase for the chair, but I would be against it for the supervisors," Redenius, of the town of Richmond, said.
Supervisor Tim Schiefelbein said he declines to take his pay, but voted in favor of the ordinance because he said his peers on the board work hard, and deserve a salary increase.
"To operate at this level takes a lot of commitment," Schiefelbein said.