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May 24, 2015

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County commissioners vote to give themselves 10 percent pay raise

Clark County Commissioners

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak Launch slideshow »

Despite continued demands on the county budget, Clark County commissioners approved a 10 percent raise for themselves at their Tuesday meeting.

The issue: Commissioners voted whether to approve a salary increase after a 2011 pay cut and several years without a raise.

The vote: Approved 5-2, with Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Larry Brown in opposition.

What it means: Commissioners will have the option of taking a 10 percent raise, which would increase their salaries to $80,008. The raise will be given in two equal parts, one in July and another in January.

Commissioner salaries have not increased since 2008. In 2011, commissioners agreed to a 2 percent pay cut that also was imposed on other county employees.

Since 2005, the salary for a commissioner has increased by 6 percent, the lowest of any county employee group, according to County Manager Don Burnette.

“Your wage movements going back to 2005 are substantially less than what you find with other employee groups,” Burnette said.

In 2007, the Legislature passed a bill allowing the maximum salaries of county commission boards across the state to increase by 4 percent annually over four years. Clark County commissioners approved 4 percent raises in 2007 and 2008 but declined to take them in 2009 and 2010 as the economy crumbled and the county budget shrank.

The raise approved Tuesday brings the commissioners’ salaries up to 2010 levels and undoes the 2011 pay cut.

Although the county’s financial standing has improved, Sisolak said several factors — including ongoing labor negotiations, a requested budget increase for Metro Police and a lack of pay increases for staff — prevented him from supporting the salary increases.

Commissioners do have the option of foregoing the raise. Susan Brager and Mary Beth Scow both indicated that although they supported the pay increase for their colleagues, they would not take it themselves.

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