By Rich Wicks | Times Vedette

The Guthrie County Board of Supervisors held a regular meeting on March 19. Supervisor Mike Dickson was absent. Discussion was held about the proposed salary increases for the county’s elected officials.

Supervisor Brian Johnson said he suggests no salary increase for the supervisors at this time. Supervisor Steve Smith said he understands Johnson’s opinion, but Smith was concerned about creating a situation in future years, in which the supervisors may need to receive a larger increase than other Guthrie County elected officials in order stay comparable. Smith said it’s best to avoid that type of “catch up” situation.

“Over time, as we are trying to encourage and recruit new people to come on the board, I think it is important that we make it advantageous enough, because the work is heavy and the work is important,” Supervisor Maggie Armstrong said.

For that reason, Armstrong advocated for continuing to make incremental salary increases for the supervisors.

The supervisors voted to increase salaries for the supervisors by 3.5%, with Johnson casting the sole vote against. The supervisors unanimously voted to increase the salary of other elected officials by 3.5%.

County Auditor Dani Fink discussed the Proposed Property Tax Notice Statements that will soon be sent out to taxpayers. She explained that the letters are required as part of a new process legislated by the state. Fink said she believes some taxpayers will have questions about the new process and the letter, so she advocated for discussion about how to have her office and the supervisors prepared to respond to those questions. The consensus was that an information form should be available so that consistent answers can be given.

Item No. 4 on the agenda was “Courthouse photography by John Deacon.” Armstrong explained a concern.

“For general purposes, I don’t have a problem with it,” she said. “I did do as the email suggested and tried to Google ‘Deacon courthouses’…but I couldn’t find anything.”

The supervisors’ consensus was to ask the photographer to contact staff at the Sheriff’s Department prior to taking photographs. Supervisor JD Kuster said he would discuss the matter with Sheriff Arganbright.

The supervisors set a public hearing in relation to the proposed service level reduction on 233rd Lane Section 7 Cass Township. The hearing will be Tuesday, April 2 at 9:05 a.m.

The supervisors will hold a budgetary work session on March 21.

The next regular meeting of the board will be Tuesday, March 26. The public is welcome. Attendees may participate in person or by calling 323-792-6123 and inputting conference ID 547029216#.