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Armstrong County officials get 2 percent pay raise

| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 12:02 a.m.

Armstrong County elected officials will get the same increase in salary as all of the county's non-bargaining unit employees as was allocated in this year's budget, the county's salary board decided when it approved a 2 percent across-the-board increase on Monday.

But the decision didn't come without plenty of discussion about not giving raises to those earning above a certain amount — $40,000 was the number most mentioned — and that cutoff would've included most elected officials.

By resolution, the county's elected officials' increases are tied to the raises of the county's other workers.

A resolution was last passed by the salary board in 2010 and is done every four years.

The current salary board is made up of county commissioners Dave Battaglia, Bob Bower and Rich Fink and Controller Myra Miller.

The three commissioners each were paid $60,756 in 2012. Each will see an increase of $1,215 to $61,971 with the pay raise.

The total of elected officials' salaries will cost the county $14,000, according to the board.

Commissioner Chairman Battaglia suggested giving the raise only to employees earning under $40,000.

“I'd like to see us hold the line on the rest,” said Battaglia.

“With us raising taxes, it's not a good time.”

All four members of the salary board agreed they would donate the salary increase back to the county.

“Because we allocated the 2 percent in the budget and announced it a public meeting, we should carry (this discussion) over in 2013 and look harder at other scenarios, a tiered system,” said Bower. “We have to stick with it.”

“I don't like that my salary gets a $1,200 raise and someone else gets a $400 raise,” Bower added.

“We can ask anyone over $40,000 if they want to forgo it and make it an individual decision.”

Fink said he believed the 2 percent across the board is what should be passed.

The board then voted 3-1 to approve the pay increase with Battaglia voting no.

“I don't think we should do something just because we allocated it,” said Battaglia.

In other salary board business, the board:

• Acknowledged the District Attorney's salary for 2013 is $172,271. By state law, the salary of the full-time district attorney is set at $1,000 less per year than the annual salary of a judge of the Court of Common Pleas.

• Established the county's mileage reimbursement rate for 2013 at 56 12 cents a mile based on the IRS standard mileage rate. In 2012, the county's rate was 55 12 cents.

Mitch Fryer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or mfryer@tribweb.com.

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