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Sheriff’s Salaries Discussed at Clay County Commission Meeting

Continued Requests by Sheriff Vescovo Discussed for Thirty Minutes at February 29, 2015 Meeting

For over a month, Clay County Sheriff Paul Vescovo has been requesting the Clay County Commission examine a potential salary increase for all of Clay County’s Sheriff’s Deputies. The issue was added as a discussion item to the February 29 agenda. Commissioner Vescovo and the Commissioners spoke about the topic for about thirty minutes.

Vescovo asked for the potential increase of $2,080 per deputy to take effect on March 13. County staff was uncertain if the increase could occur that quickly if passed next week. County Administrator Dean Brookshier was not present to weigh in on the issue. This was the second weekend Brookshier was absent due to personal issues.

Commissioner Ridgeway had several questions about the issue. Her comments begin at 2:45 in the video:

Vescovo had presented information in the past that looked at how the Sheriff’s department compensated deputies versus other departments including the Kansas City Police Department. Ridgeway asked numerous clarifying questions and seemed interested in exploring other options to improve benefits for the Sheriff’s Deputies.

Vescovo is convinced that the best approach to help retain deputies is through compensation.

“The way to keep them [deputies] is to get the salaries up to where we can somewhat start to compete. I can’t blame a deputy that’s been here 3, 4, or 5 years and he or she is going to leave to make $10,000 more a year.”

Commissioner Owen continued to indicate his support of the increase. He was ready to vote Monday on the Sheriff’s request.

The item has been moved to regular agenda at the March 7 Commission Meeting. Presiding Comissioner Nolte still hopes to get feedback from Brookshier by next week.

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