Lebanon County Commissioners held a special meeting Monday to confirm salaries for the offices of County Sheriff and Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphans’ Court, which are both up for election next year.
The vote taken at the meeting addressed compensation for 2024 and 2025 because salaries for those two offices for fiscal year 2022 and 2023 had already been set by a commissioner vote at a special meeting held in 2018.
It was noted by county human resources director Michelle Edris that Monday’s meeting was keeping in line with a special 2018 meeting where the commissioners voted “to set the salaries for the county commissioners, controller, treasurer, prothonotary, recorder of deeds and coroner at a 2.0 percent increase or CPI (Consumer Price Index), whichever is lesser, for the years 2022 through 2023.”
Pennsylvania law requires county commissioners to set salaries for their own positions, as well as row offices, prior to the commencement of a position’s respective election year.
“What we need today is the establishment of what the salaries will be for 2024 and 2025 for the sheriff and the register of wills as the first two years of their 2022 to 2025 term must match the salaries already established for the county commissioners, controller, treasurer, prothonotary, recorder of deeds and coroner,” Edris said Monday.
The CPI tracks changes in prices for common goods and services. The county controller monitors the CPI for the Midatlantic region, which is calculated monthly. The controller’s office specifically uses CPI values released in early December and covering the previous twelve months (December 2019 to November 2020). For context, the regional CPI value was 1.8% over calendar year 2019 and, as of October, the regional CPI value for the previous 12 month is 1.2%.
Once the CPI value is available, salary ranges will be calculated by the county controller so that specific salaries may be determined as part of the annual budget process. Lebanon County Commissioners will hold this year’s special budget meeting on Dec. 24 to formally adopt the 2021 budget.
Commissioner Bill Ames noted that this process is somewhat confusing (an artifact of the varying election cycles) and something the commissioners have discussed in the past. A similar meeting was held in 2016 (paywall).
The vote to set increase methodology for 2024-2025 salary levels passed unanimously. These salaries are currently set at $64,466 for the office of County Sheriff and $70,747 for the Register of Wills/Clerk of Orphans’ courts.
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Full Disclosure: The campaigns of Bill Ames, Bob Phillips, and Jo Ellen Litz were advertisers on LebTown during previous election cycles. Ames Home Services is a current advertiser on LebTown. LebTown does not make editorial decisions based on advertising relationships and advertisers do not receive special editorial treatment. Learn more about advertising with LebTown here.