Letter to the Editor: Questions regarding recent County office raises, other spendings

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Editor:
In last week’s paper were the minutes of the December 26 meeting of the Merrick County Board of Supervisors. I would like to invite the taxpayers of Merrick County to closely read those minutes.

Every four years the board must according to State Statutes set the salaries of the elected officials for the next term of office which will begin in January 2019. I know that this is a difficult decision and that wages need to be increased. However, the board went one step further and increased the Clerk’s wages 7% more than the Treasurer, Clerk of the District Court and the Assessor. In the past these have all been the same and the work got done.

Residential properties are now seeing big increases due to the market. Agricultural land values have been high for the last several years. I feel for all property owners. I know these increases have been difficult and can create a burden.

I have tried to economize in the assessor’s office with one less employee and doing more in the office rather than contracting out to other sources. It has been very frustrating to me that this economizing has only allowed the money to be spent in other places. The staff of the sheriff’s office has gone from 12 in 2012 to 19 in 2017. The board is currently in the process of spending almost $50,000 in remodeling the third floor in order to relocate the County Attorney and part of the Sheriff Office Staff.

The board knows of my feelings. Now it is time for you to talk to them. Better yet attend a meeting of the Merrick County Board of Supervisors. They are held the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month.

Thank you,
Jan Placke
Merrick County Assessor
308-946-2443

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