County should rethink pay

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 30, 2010

Could the future of Adams County be decided by quibbling over $5,000?

On Tuesday, Adams County Supervisors discussed their job offer and then counter offer from a potential prospect to become the new county administrator.

The leading candidate simply wants more money than was offered — $5,000 a year more, or approximately a month and a half worth of the county’s cell phone bill.

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All the supervisors seem to agree that the man in question is head and shoulders above the other applicants.

We suggest the supervisors do something that we’ve long thought we need more of in government — a little bit of private-sector thinking.

Could we reach a compromise with the candidate by offering a compensation plan that is based on merit?

If $5,000 is the number the man needs, it would seem simple enough to create a plan that includes $5,000 in bonuses tied to reaching certain goals during the year.

Let’s set some goals. How about starting with putting the county in a financial position to have its bond-rating improved or finding $100,000 in savings through more efficient management or perhaps $100,000 in new grant funding?

Those are tangible items that the county would be wise to expect — and be willing to pay for — out of a new administrator.

Supervisor Thomas “Boo” Campbell said it best Tuesday.

“The bottom line is, you pay for what you get … if we want to move forward; we have to spend money.”

Creating a merit-pay based plan would be a good way to ensure our future while spending tax money wisely.