County commissioners approve raises for District Attorney’s Office employees
October 22, 2013
Steamboat Springs — Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct that Christine McKenzie, formerly Christine Henrie, still is employed by the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.
Routt County District Attorney Brett Barkey on Tuesday successfully lobbied regional politicians to give raises to his employees.
Barkey met with the Routt County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, and they were joined over the phone by commissioners from Moffat and Grand counties. The three counties encompass the 14th Judicial District that Barkey leads.
As the counties work on their budgets for 2014, Barkey was asking for a 4 percent increase in his personnel budget. With the increase, the 2014 budget will be $1,563,814, about $60,000 more than in 2013.
The three counties contribute funding to the District Attorney’s Office based on population. According to a memo prepared by Barkey, Routt contributes 45 percent, Grand’s share is 28 percent and Moffat accounts for 27 percent.
Barkey told the commissioners that employees in the District Attorney’s Office have not received raises since 2009. He said the raises are necessary to retain, train and recruit staff members.
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Barkey said the 4 percent increase to his personnel budget would not mean automatic 4 percent raises for all of his employees. Instead, Barkey said employees would be awarded raises on an individual basis.
“I would like to retain that flexibility,” Barkey said.
Barkey made it clear to the commissioners that his salary of $130,000 would not be increased if the commissioners were to approve the increase to the personnel budget.
“It’s set by statute, so there is no change in my salary whatsoever,” Barkey said.
Before unanimously approving the increase, commissioners from Grand expressed concerns because their county employees are not expected to get 4 percent raises this year.
Commissioners in Moffat said they thought a raise was appropriate since District Attorney’s Office employees had not gotten one since 2009.
“I’m comfortable with the 4 percent increase for the DA’s office,” Routt County Commissioner Tim Corrigan said.
In addition to employees at the District Attorney's Office, those working for Routt County will be receiving raises this year, Routt County Commissioner Doug Monger said.
The county is budgeting for a 2 percent cost-of-living increase and will be giving some raises that employees would have earned since 2009 as part of the county's 11-step wage program.