ballot prep

Albany County election clerk Stacey Harvey tests ballots in June 2018 at the courthouse’s elections building. About half of Albany County employees were given raises this month.

The 2020 fiscal year budget by the Albany County Commission includes about $278,000 in added pay and benefits for about half of the county’s employees.

Starting with the current pay period, 66 employees are seeing a bump in pay. Employees of the Albany County Sheriff’s Office account for 28 of those employees.

The expenditures come a year after the county implemented a step and grade plan, which was created after Human Resources Director Christina Snowberger compared Albany County employees’ salaries to their peers in state government, the city of Laramie and other counties.

Last year, the commissioners gave $90,000 in added compensation to the 13 employees who were determined to be most underpaid.

This year, the budget discussions began with the idea of giving about $153,500 in added compensation to other employees who department heads and elected officials said last year were worthy of pay increases.

More employees were added to that list this spring, ultimately bringing commissioners to the $278,000 figure they approved last week.

Albany County Clerk Jackie Gonzales said she thinks job performance, not longevity, was the driving factor in most of the employees who were selected for pay increases.

Treasurer Tracy Fletcher was also authorized to move a part-time employee into full-time status as part of the 2020 budget. Assessor Grant Showacre was allowed to hire two new part-time positions, and maintenance supervisor Roy Torres was also allowed to hire a part-time employees.

As part of the budget process, the commissioners also created a new salary reserve account, adding $200,000 to it in initial funding.

“In order to continue funding this step and grade plan, we had to put money aside,” Gonzales said. “We hope that,ideally, if the Board of County Commissioners would lay aside money for this fund in the future, it would be self-sustainable, but they’re going to have to make that commitment.”

A positive financial picture for the county this year also allowed commissioners to transfer $520,360 in reserves.

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