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Entries in Mesa County Budget (2)


Maybe this is Why Mesa County employee turnover is High and Moral low!

In a recent story in the Grand Junction Sentinel regarding Mesa County turnover rates, VetTheGov dug in a little deeper as to the more likely reasons. Could it be that County workers are seeing positions removed in order for the elite few to receive raises??? Let's take a look!

VetTheGov has highlighted some positions located on page one of the 2010 & 2011 annual salaries posted on Mesa County's website.

Starting with the elected County Commissioners pay you will notice two of the three received raises from the $72,500 up to $76,600 & $76,700. Only one Commissioner in 2011 received the usual $72,500 annual salary.

The next thing that jumps off the page is the position of Deputy Assessor-Administration pay in 2010 was $80,775.95 and dropped all the way to $71,118.37. Could this be why the next highlighted position below that one is Director of Financial Services which saw their salary INCREASE from $102,745.92 in 2010 up to $107,371.93??? As you continue through the entire salary structure of the County you find a very interesting trend of some winners and many losers on the pay scale freeze or even salary reductions. It just depends on the position you hold. Of course VetTheGov focused on all the director positions for the County and are broken down for your convenience.

Mesa County Director Position Salaries 2010 - 2011

  • Financial Services   $102,745.92 in 2010; raised to $107,371.93 in 2011
  • Public Works  $129,549.68 in 2010; raised to $139,871.06 in 2011
  • Director-CJSD  $102,541.68 in 2010; lowered to $99,450.12 in 2011
  • MV & Recording   $90,017.24 in 2010; lowered to $69,529.80 in 2011
  • Land Use & Dev   $90,017.24 in 2010; lowered to $87,732.84 in 2011
  • Environmental Health   $90,618.05 in 2010; lowered  to $89,427.00 in 2011
  • Prevention & ED  $58,368.68 in 2010; raised to $60,732.00 in 2011
  • Long Range Planning   $90,660.44 in 2010; lowered to $88,148.64 in 2011
  • Dept. Health Services   $99,983.12 in 2010; raised to $106,183.38 in 2011
  • Waste management   $72,375.18 in 2010; raised to $82,716.12 in 2011
  • Assit. to Public Works Dir.   $62,347.37 in 2010; lowered to $59,645.04 in 2011
  • Dev. Engineer   $91,646.90 in 2010; raised to $96,176.76 in 2011
  • Health Prep   $82,850.77 in 2010; raised to $89,684.76 in 2011
  • Planning   $115,122.88 in 2010; lowered to $87,732.84 in 2011
  • Health Dept.   $86,391.99 in 2010; raised to $101,976.10 in 2011
  • Elections   $45,600.00 in 2010; kept at $45,600.00 in 2011
  • Animal Services   $67,893.06 in 2010; raised to $77,070.96 in 2011
  • Engineering Div.   $103,240.09 in 2010 lowered to $100,542.84 in 2011
  • Div. Director-CJSD   $91,661.77 in 2010; lowered to $88,676.64 in 2011
  • AAA  $58,471.87 in 2010; lowered to $57,093.99 in 2011
  • Public Relations   $65,989.77 in 2010; lowered to $107,371.93 in 2011
  • Clinical Services   $28,292.51 in 2010; raised to $88,065.04 in 2011
  • Family & Children   $85,162.88 in 2010; lowered to $67,905.16 in 2011
  • Health Admin. Svcs $86,391.99 in 2010; raised to $92,321.04 in 2011
  • Div. Dir.-CJSD  $94,114.66 in 2010; lowered to $89,201.89 in 2011
  • SS & EMP   $71,104.46 in 2010; lowered to $69,300.00 in 2011
  • Workforce Center   $87,562.88 in 2010; raised to $93,783.80 in 2011
  • County Attorney   $122,111.22 in 2010; lowered to $112,561.60 in 2011
  • IT Manager   $88,276.25 in 2010; raised to $92,227.33 in 2011

District Attorney's Office/Law Enforcement Directors

  • District Attorney   $149,215.56 in 2010; raised to $164,522.60 in 2011
  • Assit. DA   $136,251.24 in 2010; raised to $140,875.68 in 2011
  • Chief Deputy DA  $114,688.44 in 2010; raised to $116,204.90 in 2011
  • Senior Trial DA   $66,246.96 in 2010; raised to $71,931.98 in 2011
  • Sheriff   $87,900.08 in 2010; lowered to $87,700.08 in 2011
  • Chief Deputy Undersheriff   $107,911.12 in 2010; lowered to $106,293.84 in 2011
  • Division Commander   $102,542.47 in 2010; raised to $104,948.04 in 2011

All the above Salaries do not include the additional 25% in benefits received by County employees.

The biggest question that needs answered to the taxpayers of Mesa County is when the media reports no raises for Three years in a row during the economic downturn and over 19.5% unemployment locally, why do we see so many increases in certain Director's pay and yet in lower positions we see salaries cut drastically or positions removed??? Maybe just maybe this is the reason for the high turnover and low moral in many departments.

Another question needing answers are how can this model of government continue to be funded and supported??? VetTheGov believes attrition will continue within the agency especially when the higher salaried positions begin having to take more hits to their pay and benefits! What do you think???

Stay tuned to VetTheGov as the County budget for 2012 will be compared to last years budget!


Mesa County 2011 Budget at first glance.

VetTheGov has reviewed the Mesa County 2011 adopted budget found on website.  VetTheGov found some interesting trends of where your tax dollars are funneled and how they are appropriated. 

Beginning with the Landfill/Solid Waste department which for years was the talk of the town for actual good government business, has now become a negative on the balance sheet.  If you look at the this departments budget statement here you will notice that eventually all good government programs end up losing at some point.  The Solid Waste department will charge $3,875,000.00 for services with total expenditures for the program of $4,625,342.00 for a loss of ($750,342.00).  The positives for this catagory are required personnel which has stayed at Seven Full Time Equivalents (FTE's) and some nice cash reserves.

Animal Services department is budgeted for $912,871.00 with charges for services of $501,100.00 for another loss of ($411,771.00).  The animal services manager annual salary based on monthly gross wages is $111,345.72.  The department also has an animal services director which is paid $72,894.96 annually.  The remaining portion divided up for 13 other positions and operating expenses.  Who would of thought the dog catching business paid so well?  Average response time 28.2 minutes for priority calls.

Here is where it gets interesting!  The Human Services and Health Fund department's employ 306.58 FTE's out of Mesa County's 965.58 FTE's total.  Combined budgets total $28,203,268.00 in which a large portion of their revenue comes from Federal government grants.  The Human Services department has 220.83 FTE's with total appropriations of $21,927,203.00.  From this 21.9 million, $16,963,706.00 goes to salaries, benefits, and operating costs.  Only $4,908,165.00 makes it to actual clients.  See Human Services budget here.  There is no charge for services to clients.  The average Director gross salary is $87,515.00.

The Health Fund department has 85.75 FTE's and is appropriated $6,348,686.00 from the County.  They bill for services $848,465.00.  $6,276,165.00 of the budget is consumed by salaries, benefits, and operating expenses.  This department has around 35 nurses averaging over $60,000.00 in annual salaries.  The Medical Officer makes $147,671.40 gross annually.  Between the Human Services and Health Fund departments 28.2 million dollar budgets they only bill $848,465.00 for services rendered which is a 27.3 million dollar loser and where the County government becomes a welfare county.  See Health Fund budget here.

Last but not the least is the Criminal Justice divisions which consist of the Sheriff's Office, District Attorney's Office, and Criminal Services departments.  Total budget of $31,257,277.00 and 347.50 FTE's out of Mesa County's 965.58 FTE's.  Total revenues into these departments budgeted at $7,648,031.00.  Cost of Criminal Justice/Public Safety services to local taxpayers $23,609,246.00.  Highlights of these agencies are as follows: Pre-Trial services to save over 122 detention beds compared to 114 detention beds in 2010;  Summit View Treatment Services 59% success rate for inpatient treatment down from 75% in 2009; average 388 daily inmates; 77 DUI arrests in 2010 down from 212 in 2009; 67 felony arrest in 2010 down from 188 in 2009; 7.2 minute response time for priority 1 calls in 2010 down from 8.0 minute response time in 2009; 9.5 minute response time for priority 2 calls in 2010 down from 13.2 minute response time in 2009; Citizen complaints in 2010 43 up from 26 in 2009; no information related to court cases from DA's office; Partner's reported 25,496 hours of community service and $134,625.00 in restitution paid.

Overall 67% of Mesa County's employees work in Human Services, Health Fund, and Criminal Justice departments.  VetTheGov sees a trend in regards to a workforce in Mesa County dedicated to pursuing a Social Justice agenda.

Read entire Mesa County budget highlights here.

Here are the 2010 annual salaries for Mesa County excluding the approximate 25% additional benefit package.

Kudos to the current County Commissioner's who proved a 10% across the board cut in the budget is possible.  Maybe our State and Federal governments could use this as a model proving it can be done now with little pain. 

Couple of interesting questions arise when we look at budgets and appropriations come to mind.  Do you feel you are getting your money's worth from the government?  Do you see any way for the government to get away from being a welfare redistribution model? If so, How? Do politicians handle your tax dollars wisely or are their hands tied to the social justice and fairness doctrines established years ago?

Stay tuned as VetTheGov will taker a closer look at the how our government redistributes our tax dollars!