While they took no vote, Leavenworth County commissioners seemed to reach a decision Wednesday to remove the salaries of elected officials from a county pay plan.

While they took no vote, Leavenworth County commissioners seemed to reach a decision Wednesday to remove the salaries of elected officials from a county pay plan.

Commissioners discussed the issue during a work session, which took place Wednesday afternoon. The work session came after commissioners had met earlier in the day for a regular weekly meeting.

Salaries of the county elected officials are set each year by the commission. But currently, the salaries of the elected officials follow the same pay plan used for employees of the county government. The elected officials include the commissioners as well as others such as the county clerk and sheriff.

The issue of whether the salaries of elected officials should be removed from the pay plan came up last month. But no action was taken at the time.

The issue was brought back Wednesday after two new members joined the commission.

Chad Schimke and Mike Stieben joined the commission earlier this month as part of an expansion of the board that was approved last year by voters.

Commissioner Jeff Culbertson said he had checked with the governments of 10 other counties. And none of them have the salaries of elected officials on pay plans.

Culbertson said having the salaries of elected officials determined by a pay plan that takes into account things such as experience could affect the outcome of elections. He suggested some people may vote for a candidate because his or her salary will cost taxpayers less than that of his opponent.

Commissioner Vicky Kaaz said elected officials should be removed from the pay plan. She said elected officials can bring to the commission budget requests for their offices that include their proposed salaries.

When approving pay increases for elected positions, Stieben suggested the commission can schedule the raises to go into effect only after the next election.

County Administrator Mark Loughry said there seemed to be a consensus among the commissioners to remove all elected officials from the pay plan.

Loughry said commissioners will vote on the issue during a future meeting.

Commission Chairman Doug Smith said he would like to see an additional stipend for County Clerk Janet Klasinski to compensate her for taking on the duties of overseeing the county’s human resources operations.

Culbertson suggested commissioners also should look at giving Sheriff Andy Dedeke a stipend because his office has taken over Leavenworth County Emergency Management and the Juvenile Detention Center.

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