County elected officials and township trustees across Ohio are getting 10.25 percent pay raises this year, spiking pay for some by more than $12,000.
Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck and Coroner Kent Harshbarger, the area’s highest paid elected officials, will each get $12,148 raises, bringing their pay to $130,661.
The raises are the first for these officials since 2008. The Ohio General Assembly included the raises in a 2015 budget bill, giving officials 5 percent raises in 2016 and 2017. But state law prevents most officials from getting raises in their term, so they receive the cumulative raise when they take office after being re-elected in November.
“Elected officials have not gotten an increase since 2008, and it’s important that these officials be fairly compensated just like other employees who probably have gotten a cost of living adjustment at some point over this same time period,” said Cheryl Subler, managing director of policy at the County Commissioners Association of Ohio.
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This also means the two county commissioners elected in Ohio counties last year will make more than the third commissioner, who won’t get a raise unless he or she is re-elected in 2018.
Judges, sheriffs and prosecutors will continue getting annual 5 percent raises through 2019. Judges can get raises during their term, while the others will have to wait until they are re-elected again to get another raise. So if Heck is re-elected in 2020, he will take office making $144,053.
An I-Team analysis of this proposal in 2015 found state lawmakers who gave elected officials 5 percent annual raises also gave state employees only 2.5 percent annual raises, which Ohio Civil Service Employee Association President Christopher Mabe called "a slap in the face."
ARCHIVE REPORT: Local politicians to get annual 5 percent raises
The General Assembly did not, however, move forward with a proposed constitutional amendment that could give state lawmakers a raise and overhaul how elected officials are paid across the state.
We are digging into this issue and will have a full I-Team report soon.