County commission, treasurer spar over pay scale

By Chris Swick
December 22, 2015

More fireworks between the McPherson County Commission and McPherson County Treasurer Brenda Becker Monday morning over the pay of employees in Becker's office.

Part of the ongoing discussion revolves around Becker proposing a pay structure different from what the county uses, which would put her off the grid, as Commissioner Ron Loomis put it, though Becker disagreed.

“Just because you think it should be some place and I think it should be somewhere else, I'm going off the grid,” Becker said. “I'm using your model.”

“We already have a payroll policy for the county established with positions and job descriptions and so forth,” Loomis said in response. “We are not going to just change them at the whim of changing them. We change them when we need to because of salary reviews and et cetera.”

Another part of Monday's discussion revolved around one pay change, in particular, as the commission was willing to give one employee their due annual step-increase, however not to where Becker had proposed it be, as it would constitute a promotion and was not within county policy, which led to a discussion between Becker, Loomis and county administrator Rick Witte over legalities, specifically with Becker claiming she will make the step increase retroactive, thus violating a state statute preventing the commission from making pays changes retroactive.

“Brenda, this is one of your employees,” Witte said. “There's plenty of time to argue the other issues this coming year, but why would you penalize one of your employees.”

“If you deny this the way I've presented this, it will be retroactive,” Becker said. “That's what I'm going for, retroactive, when it's all said and done.”

In the end, no action was taken.