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Possible changes in Ramsey County commissioner pay to be discussed

Changes in how pay rates are determined for the seven Ramsey County commissioners are being bandied about by the Ramsey County Charter Commission.

Under consideration are possible amendments to the charter that would either require a public referendum on any raises of more than 5 percent or tie the commissioners’ pay to the median annual income of county residents.

The 2010 commissioner salary is $82,400, with $84,975 for the board chair. The estimated median income in 2008 of a Ramsey County Household was $52,480.

The charter commission is looking for input at a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 11 at the City of Little Canada Council Chambers.

The two amendments now on the table are:

    “Should the Ramsey County Home Rule Charter be amended so that a salary ordinance increasing Ramsey County Commissioners salaries by more than five percent (5%) shall be subject to an automatic referendum and shall not be effective until approved by a majority voting at a referendum?”
    “Should the Ramsey County Home Rule Charter be amended so the annual salary of Ramsey County Commissioners on January 1, 2011 and reassessed every year thereafter shall not exceed the current median annual income of a Ramsey County Household as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau (American Community Survey)?

After the public hearing, the Charter Commission will decide whether to put a question on the ballot at the November 2010 general election. To pass, such a question needs more than 50 percent of those voting on the question.

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