Claremore Daily Progress
December 19, 2013
Dermody requests legislature review pay scale
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“I believe the way they currently compensate secretaries is out of date and they need to bring it up to date,” Dermody said.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.
She also recommends entities, which call elections to be billed additional monies based on the size of the election.
Dermody suggest the county government be more responsible for the secretary’s pay in an effort to bring them to a level consistent with other county officers.
For now, Dermody has taken her plight to the legislature submitting the report for review.
“It is a fact that election board secretaries are sadly underpaid and something needs to be done,” Dermody said.
“A little over half of the counties do not supplement their secretary’s income, including Rogers County.”