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      More Raises Approved for Hall County Employees

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      More Hall County employees will be getting raises next year after a unanimous vote Tuesday.

      This, after some controversial votes on pay by the board of supervisors recently.

      After seeing what other departments were asking, three Hall County offices asked for raises for their chief deputies.

      That position's salary is calculated differently from others. It's determined by a percentage of their bosses' pay.

      "It's impossible for me to be in every court room, at every counter, at every moment," said Hall County District Clerk of Court Valorie Bendixen.

      That's where Bendixen's chief deputy comes in. She said her number two deserves a raise.

      "I want to give her what she deserves for her hard work," said Bendixen.

      She questioned her original asking for the deputy -- 75 percent of her salary. That's been the standard in Hall County for many departments, but at Tuesday's meeting no one could determine why.

      Bendixen, the treasurer and combined assessor and register of deeds office asked for 80 percent. It was approved, amounting to an increase of more than $16,600 next year.

      In Bendixen's office, that's a more than $2,800 increases.

      Before more increases can be determined, supervisors said a salary study must be done.

      "We need the same information. We need to know per the [Metropolitan Statistical Area] what other elected officials are making in those particular counties outside Nebraska," said Supervisor Pam Lancaster.

      Hall County is now big enough to be compared to other counties deemed MSA's.

      "It's a huge change, and quite frankly quite a big deal to Hall County, very costly," said Lancaster.

      Supervisors hope to vote on a salary study -- with a preliminary $40,000 price tag -- at the next meeting in two weeks.

      "I believe that we're taking the steps to calm all this uncertainty about where should be with salaries," said Lancaster.

      The board has approved a 5 percent salary increase across the board for non-union employees. They could receive another 3.75 percent raise in January, depending on what that salary study finds.

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