Westmoreland County officials' raises modest
Westmoreland County's elected officials will get raises in 2014, although the salary hikes won't pay for much more than a nice meal out.
County commissioners and row officers receive annual cost-of-living increases.
That amounts to 0.25 percent for the upcoming year.
Chairman Charles Anderson of the board of commissioners will take home an additional $195.
Commissioners Tyler Courtney and Ted Kopas each will get raises of $188.
Most row officers will get an annual pay hike of $165.
“I may buy a nice bottle of wine,” Anderson joked when asked how he will spend his newfound riches.
Courtney and Kopas, who last year said they planned to give their 2.14 percent pay raises to charity, said courthouse workers may benefit from next year's raise.
“We may throw a courthouse pizza party,” Kopas and Courtney said last week.
Salary increases for the county's elected officials are determined by the consumer price index, which is determined by the Department of Labor and fixed through a compilation of data tied to economic conditions in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.
Annual raises have varied over the years, peaking with a 5 percent increase in 2003.
The 2014 raises are the lowest that have been issued since the automatic pay hikes were implemented in 1996. In 2010, elected officials did not get raises because the consumer price index actually dropped slightly, by less than 1 percent.
Recorder of Deeds Frank Schiefer said inflation and local taxes increased, meaning his raise will be put to good use to cover those additional personal costs.
“Cost-of-living adjustments aren't a bad thing. Elected officials should be treated the same as other workers,” Schiefer said.
As part of the county's $342 million budget that commissioners approved this month, 400 nonunion workers will receive 1.5 percent raises in 2014.
Unionized workers, under terms of previously negotiated labor deals, receive raises between 2 percent to 3 percent.
“Our blessing is we get this great job,” Controller Jeffrey Balzer said. “The raise is not a lot of money, but I'm happy to be getting any raise.”
Democrat Dan Blissman and Republican Debbie Irwin will finish the year as the county's last elected jury commissioners after county commissioners voted to abolish the office, which paid each about $18,000 annually. The court administrator's office will oversee the jury selection process.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- ‘Kill for Thrill’ perps longest on Pa. death row
- Westmoreland County heroin overdose deaths jump; easy access, low cost blamed
- Twins play key roles at Overly’s Country Christmas in Mt. Pleasant Township
- Westmoreland County seeks role in state public transportation shift to natural gas
- Commercial growth, increased revenue help Hempfield keep tax rate steady
- Open house set for proposed power plant in South Huntingdon
- Greensburg man, 18, cited for shotgun fired by boy, 16
- Youngwood faces fine for not using architect to design nearly complete playground
- Suspect ordered to trial in Trafford attack