St. Joseph County Commissioners seek 50% pay raise but council may not sign off on the increase
St. Joseph County commissioners are asking for a 50-percent pay raise next year but some county council members have been cool to the idea.
Commissioner Derek Dieter made his pitch at a recent meeting with a group of council members as part of next year’s 2024 departmental budget presentations. The county’s three commissioners, who function as county government’s executive branch, are now paid $50,000 a year. They’re asking for a raise to $75,000 effective Jan. 1.
But Dieter said county council members said in the meeting that they plan to give commissioners the same 5-percent raise that all county employees will get next year.
Dieter says it’s only fair to give commissioners the bigger raise since the council in June gaveroughly 50-percent mid-year raises to Assessor Mike Castellon, Clerk Amy Rolfes and Auditor John Murphy. All three were newly elected this year and asked the council for the raises, citing higher salaries for their counterparts in other Indiana counties.
Likewise, Dieter said he looked at what county commissioners make in counties that are comparable to St. Joseph in population. Those are Allen, Hamilton and Lake counties, which pay commissioners an average of $75,751.
Dieter, a retired South Bend cop, estimates he works five to six hours a day as a commissioner, or about 30 hours a week.