By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – Canadian County’s elected officers are due to receive a salary increase Jan. 1, 2023.
A resolution establishing a base pay for county elected officers, pursuant to Oklahoma state statute, was approved unanimously at the Canadian County Commissioners’ weekly meeting Oct. 10.
The $49,500 base salary will be for the eight county officer positions – three county commissioners, county assessor, county treasurer, county sheriff, county clerk, and district court clerk.
The Oklahoma State Legislature has changed the formula that applies to county officers’ pay, increasing the amount that county officers may make.
The high was $44,500 before the state Legislature increased that limit by $5,000.
“We did budget enough money this year to pay the salaries at the $49,500 (amount),” Canadian County Commission Chairman Dave Anderson said.
State auditors recommended Canadian County Commissioners approve the resolution to “identify” a base salary for county officers, added Anderson, the District 2 commissioner.
“There’s a lot of moving pieces when we approve this resolution because there are four of us who will not be eligible to receive any increase in our salary because we’re in mid-term,” he pointed out.
There already existed a Constitutional prohibition for a county officer to give himself or herself a raise during their term.
The other two county commissioners, Marc Hader and Jack Stewart, won’t see the pay jump because they are leaving office.
Across Oklahoma, county officers are elected to serve four-year terms.
Canadian County Commissioners had the discretion to select their elected officers’ base salary from a range of $19,500 and $49,500.
Two other formulas, based on the county’s property valuation and population, also are used to determine total salaries for county officers.
“Those formulas are mandatory and are going to happen automatically,” Assistant District Attorney Tommy Humphries told commissioners.
“Previously, you all would plug all those numbers in and then you would pick a salary within that range. They’ve tried to limit that, just to narrow the confusion.”
Hader, Canadian County’s District 1 commissioner, was defeated this year in his bid for a third term.
“When I first came in, I said I didn’t run for this office for the salary that we received,” Hader said. “The salary was pretty comparable to what research showed was the median household income for Canadian County. It has climbed a little bit.”
ODDS ‘N ENDS
In other business at their Oct. 10th meeting, Canadian County Commissioners approved:
- Tabling indefinitely awarding a bid for a new Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) system for the county assessor’s office. Canadian County Assessor Matt Wehmuller asked for time to review the proposals submitted by three companies.
- A Rural Economic Action Plan (REAP) grant for asphalt road improvements around the Concho area in District 1.
- A memorandum of understanding for the Canadian County Health Department to provide speech and language screenings for the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribes’ Head Start.
Undersheriff Kevin Ward gave the weekly Canadian County jail report, showing 242 inmates in custody with 207 housed at the El Reno detention center and 35 prisoners in other counties.