Carson seeks local control over elected salaries

Carson City has submitted legislation that would give the board of supervisors the power to increase the pay for elected city officials by the same percentage other city workers receive each year.

The bill draft was submitted last week to the Legislative Counsel Bureau and would apply to professional, full-time elected posts - in Carson's case the treasurer, assessor, clerk/recorder, sheriff and district attorney.

It would not apply to the supervisors themselves.

"The heart of it is if the supervisors gave COLAs (Cost of Living Adjustments) to department heads, then we would also get it," said Alan Glover, who is Carson City's clerk/recorder. "And if the county's broke and the staff isn't getting any increases, we wouldn't either."

Since those pay scales must currently be approved by the Legislature, county elected officials have gone as long as 10 years with no pay increase, resulting in many officials earning significantly less than their top employees and making it difficult to attract and keep good candidates for those jobs.

"It's really worth the Legislature looking at that as a solution to the overall pay issue for elected officials," Glover said.

Mayor Marv Teixeira said he supports the proposal.

Glover said that in the past, the problem has been that, because of different political issues, the raises for those elected county positions have come only sporadically.

He said the county officials received raises in 1973, 1975 and 1979 but then received nothing until 1989. They had to wait until 1995 to get another raise, then 2003 for the next increase.

He said when pay falls too low, good potential candidates sometimes refuse to run for office - especially with the growing complexity and problems some of those offices must deal with. He cited the property-tax issues faced by assessors and treasurers and the complex and contentious election disputes dealt with by county clerks in recent years.

The bill will be introduced after the start of the 2007 Legislature.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.

2007 Legislature

To track bills online go to:

www.leg.state.nv.us/74th/Reports/

Nevada Politics

Look for a guide to the 74th Nevada Legislature inside the Nevada Appeal on Jan. 31.

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