Todd County Board of Commissioners: Auditor/Treasurer’s salary request is denied

by Karin L. Nauber

With Commissioner David Kircher absent, a tie vote ensued when it came to the salary increase request for Auditor/Treasurer Denise Gaida. Voting to approve the salary request were Commissioners Randy Neumann and Barb Becker. Voting against were Chair Gary Kneisl and Commissioner Rod Erickson.

Prior to the vote, during their December 4 meeting Neumann said that Gaida manages a $32 million budget and since the formation of the Finance Committee, a lot of money has been saved. He said that he looked at other counties and the salaries of their auditor/treasurers and felt Gaida deserved the amount she requested which was $95,915—a 15% increase.

The increase across the board for the other elected officials of 6.4% (due to the extra pay period in 2020) would have put Gaida at $88,776. This amount would have put her slightly above County Human Resources Manager Sara Ogren who is at $88,236.

By comparison with other counties, Gaida’s request does appear to be in line considering her 32 years of service to Todd County. Brown County’s Auditor/Treasurer who has been in the position for five years with 39 served in that county was at $94,500 in 2019. Martin County’s auditor/treasurer who is new to the position is at $86,590. Morrison County is at $81,381 for a newly elected auditor/treasurer. Wadena County came in at $74,597 for a newly elected auditor/treasurer.

Other counties, like Cass County come in at $112,964 with someone new to the position.

At the November 19 county board work session, Gaida, along with the other elected officials, gave a breakdown of their job duties, self assessment and salary requests.

Gaida showed that her work had helped with the increase of the county’s overall average fund balance from 3.10 months in 2014 (she began her position as auditor/treasurer in January 2015) to 4.86 months in 2018. She also highlighted the increase of the general fund balance from 1.9 months in 2014 to 7.93 months in 2018. . .

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