Macomb Board OKs raises for themselves, officials

Nicquel Terry
The Detroit News

The Macomb County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved pay hikes for themselves and other county elected officials with the chairman receiving the highest raise — 35 percent— beginning next year.

Commissioners, charged with setting the pay for elected officials every two years, hired a Minnesota-based firm earlier this year to review salaries in comparison to counties in Michigan and nearby states.

They voted 9-4 on the pay increases with Democrats Fred Miller, Veronica Klinefelt and Kathy Tocco and Republican Steve Marino voting no. All three Democrats have filed to run again.

The new pay scale allows for annual increases through 2020 for the clerk, prosecutor, public works commissioner, county sheriff and treasurer.

The board chairman, who is paid $66,595 annually, will make $90,000 in 2017 and 2018 under the new pay scale. That position is held by Democrat David Flynn, who announced Wednesday night he is not seeking re-election in November.

The county prosecutor is also getting one of the highest raises at 28 percent. The job will pay $148,619 next year— a jump from the current pay of $115,482. Democrat Eric Smith holds that position and is up for re-election.

Commissioners will receive $35,000 starting next year, up from the $30,746. There are 13 commissioners on the board.

Miller said while he supported the county’s decision to contract an outside firm to assess salaries, he consistently opposes pay increases.

“I voted no because I do not support pay hikes for politicians including myself,” he said.

Miller said he didn’t know how much the raises would cost the county in total.

The county’s 2,500 employees are in the final year of a three-year contract that expires Dec. 31. It didn’t provide for raises, but put an end to furlough days and gave workers a $3,000 lump sum payment at the end of 2013 and $500 payments last year and this year.

The county executive position, held by Democrat Mark Hackel, which draws a $139,773 salary, will see an increase to $164,964 in 2019. That salary will rise each year reaching $175,061 by 2022.

The county clerk/register of deeds is receiving the smallest pay increase of 2 percent. That position, held by Carmella Sabaugh, a Democrat, pays $106,745 and will be bumped up to $108,880 next year. She’s running for re-election.

Other salary increases next year:

■Public works commissioner, a position held by Democrat Anthony Marrocco, who’s running again, which will go from $111,540 to $130,034.

■County sheriff, held by Democrat Anthony Wickersham, who’s up for re-election, from $106,913 to $121,469.

■County treasurer, held by newly-appointed Democrat Derek Miller, who’s running for a full term, will make $112,342 compared to the current salary of $106,745.