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Dunn County approves salary increase of $87.50 per month for chair

By LeAnn R. Ralph

MENOMONIE — The Dunn County Board has approved a salary increase of $87.50 per month, or $1,050 per year, for the chair of the county board.

The Dunn County Board approved the salary increase on a vote of 17 “yes” to nine “no” at the September 20 meeting.

With the budget crisis facing Dunn County, “it’s not right” for the chair of the county board to be receiving an increase, said David Bartlett, county board supervisor from Boyceville.

Dunn County’s proposed budget for 2018 is $80.5 million.

With alternative financing of $1.77 million and with $1.97 million from the fund balance, the proposed 2018 budget still has a deficit of $1.87 million.

According to the resolution setting the salary for the chair of the Dunn County Board, the chair currently receives $312.50 per month, and the increase would bring the salary up to $400 per month, or $4,800 per year.

The compensation for the chair of the county board was last reviewed 11 years ago in March of 2006.

Dunn County has had the benefit of Steve Rasmussen’s expertise and experience for years, said Mary Solberg, county board supervisor from Menomonie.

If Rasmussen were to step aside as chair, the new chair would have a “big learning curve.” Rasmussen devotes many hours to the position, and a modest increase would be worthwhile, she said.

The county’s employees will be receiving a raise, and the chair will be receiving “a slight bump,” Solberg said.

The last time the chair’s salary was increased was 11 years ago, and even with the increase, the county will not be paying “what it’s worth,” said Gary Stene, county board supervisor from Colfax.

The request is not an exorbitant raise, considering the time Rasmussen devotes to being the chair and the knowledge he brings to committee meetings, Stene said.

The increase in the county board chair’s salary will go into effect after the next election for county board in April.

The following county board supervisors voted in favor of an increase in salary for the chair: Sarah Kennedy (Menomonie), Mike Kneer (Menomonie), Donald Kuether (Menomonie), Tim Mather (Menomonie), Kelly McCullough (Menomonie), Diane Morehouse (Menomonie), Tom Quinn (Downing), Gary Seipel (Eau Galle), Mary Solberg (Menomonie), Gary Stene (Colfax), James Tripp (Menomonie), Carl Vandermeulen (Menomonie), James Anderson (Menomonie), Paul DeLong (Menomonie), Dale Harschlip (Mondovi), Steve Rasmussen (Boyceville) and Jim Zons (Colfax).

The following county board supervisors voted against the increase in salary for the chair: Charles Maves (Boyceville), Pete Prochnow (Menomonie), Sheila Stori (Menomonie), David Bartlett (Boyceville), Gary Bjork (Colfax), Larry Bjork (Menomonie), Elton Christopherson (Elk Mound), Richard Creaser (Menomonie), Brian Johnson (Colfax).

Vaughn Hedlund (Boyceville), Calvin Christianson (Menomonie) and Teresa Lyall (Menomonie) were absent from the meeting.