New state law will boost commissioners' salaries

Sep 15, 2015

The Pitkin County Commissioners discussed Tuesday how a new state law around salaries for elected officials, will impact them.
Credit pitkincounty.com

A new Colorado law gives elected officials across the state a pay hike. On Tuesday (9/15) the Pitkin County Commissioners discussed Senate Bill 288 and how it may impact their paychecks. 

The legislation was crafted as a way to tackle low pay for state executive officers, such as Colorado’s Secretary of State. With an annual salary of just over $68,000, that position’s pay ranks low nationally.

In Pitkin County, the commissioners earn more than $72,000. The new law would boost that by 30 percent, unless the county opts to be included in a separate bill yet to be debated at the Statehouse. That bill would allow the commissioners to boost their pay by less. Commissioner Rachel Richards advocated for a 10 percent increase.

"These are pure salary numbers. They don’t include the insurance or benefits of retirement and so, I look at this as being very substantial," she said.

Any increase in pay wouldn’t be felt until the beginning of a new term in office. A ten percent adjustment would be a one-time increase, but salaries would continue to be adjusted for inflation. The board hasn’t seen an increase in pay, not even for inflation, since 2007.

On Tuesday, a majority of the board favored the lower pay increase. They’d like to hold a public hearing before officially choosing to be included in the new bill that would allow that.