LIBERAL, Kan. — Last year there was a 5% pay raise for Seward County employees, and this week County Commissioners approved another one, a 50 cent an hour increase.
“That did include elected officials, excluding the commissioners,” said County Administrator April Warden.
County officials said two consecutive raises totaling over $500,000 were both necessary. Before last year’s raise, it had been four years since employees got a pay bump.
“Most of them stayed with us, so we’ve got a great bunch of employees and I think it was a well deserved raise,” said Commissioner Jim Rice.
“I’ve never had one until recently to be honest with you, and it is nice,” said County employee Marcala Skinner. “It’s nice that the Commissioners have thought of us.”
“I look at it as an investment in our county employees rather than just a pay raise,” Rice said.
Rice and others said it’s a way to show appreciation, but it also helps the county stay competitive and bring in younger people.
So, where is the money coming from?
“They did put that money aside, in reserve for claims for salary proposal,” said Warden. “It stays there until they can decide if they can afford a raise or not.”
With a strong budget, the Commissioners decided they could afford the raises. As for County taxpayers, they’ll see no change.
“We had the money to do it, so we’re on our way to bigger and better things hopefully,” Rice said.