Weather Forecast


Your Letters: Department heads didn't campaign on pay hikes

Wadena County has nine elected positions: five county commissioners, county attorney, county sheriff, county recorder and county auditor/treasurer. First, let us dispel the rumor that the county commissioners voted themselves a pay raise. They have not received a pay raise since commissioners Bounds and Miller were elected. Our county commissioners base pay is $13,390 per year. These five people are responsible for managing an $18 million business each year. I wonder what private business doing $18 million per year could hire managers for $13,390.

I don't remember Carr, Ladd, West or Henricksen mentioning that they expected a pay increase after they were elected. I don't believe they had that in their campaign literature. I don't remember them saying if you elect me I expect a pay increase. I figured that they knew what the pay was when they filed for the position. I feel that if they didn't like the pay they shouldn't have filed.

The chart below shows, what the pay for each job was when they were running for office in 2010 and what it is now and how much it increased:

2010 2012 Increase

in Pay

Kyra Ladd $83,821 $90,605 $6,784

Michael Carr $77,507 $84,781 $7,274

Soledad Henricksen $44,090 $48,422 $4,332

Charleen West $59,301 $64,729 $5,428

How many of you who pay taxes in Wadena County saw this kind of a pay increase? Would you have voted for these people if you had known that they expected a pay increase?

People in the private sector have learned to live within their means. Most of us have not seen an increase in income for several years. The value of our property is down, and so is our net worth. People are under water on their homes. Business are closing their doors.

The last thing we need in this county is our elected officials asking for and receiving a pay increase.

John Finnegan