Claremore Daily Progress

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December 19, 2013

Dermody requests legislature review pay scale

CLAREMORE —

A recent study reveals the role of county governments in the compensation level of election board secretaries in Oklahoma.
Rogers County Election Board Secretary Julie Dermody conducted the study, interviewing secretaries from all 77 counties.
“I felt it is necessary to look how the county governments look at the role of the election board,” Dermody said.
Dermody was one of a few employees who did not recently receive a pay increase when the Rogers County Commissioners voted to approve the measure in October.
The board’s action increased the pay rate of some of Dermody’s employees exceeding her own.
Dermody wanted to compare other counties to Rogers County to see if the same situation was occurring.
What she found was the election board secretaries were often the lowest paid director in the county.
Often times, the secretaries were paid less than their 2nd and 3rd Deputies, according to the report.
Dermody discovered the number of active registered voters in each county determines the secretary’s salary.
Each monthm, the benefits and salary is paid from county funds and later reimbursed from the state election board.
Often times, the salary is not increased beyond the state’s pay scale although it is permissible, according to Dermody.
County governments are permitted to pay more then the base pay scale as long as it does not exceed 135 percent of the set rate.
Across the state, most county governments do not offer supplements to the base pay regulated by the state, according to the report.
The secretary is an officer of the county and not the state, Dermody said.
“I believe the way they currently compensate secretaries is out of date and they need to bring it up to date,” Dermody said.
Dermody suggests the state eliminate the current pay scale, which  depends upon voter registration.

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