The Rice County Board of Commissioners dealt with a number of routine end of year items during their meeting today in the County Government Services Building in Faribault.  At the conclusion of the meeting Commissioner Galen Malecha asked fellow Commissioners and County employees to stick around of a presentation to outgoing Commission Chair Steve Bauer.

Bauer received a blanket and a plaque thanking him for his 14 years of service in District 4.  Malecha said, "It's been great working with you. You and I may have butted heads a few times.  I'm probably going to butt heads with Steve (Underdahl, filling Bauer's seat), Dave and Jeff but the nice thing is we come together and make things work for the citizens of Rice County."

Bauer told those gathered, "I have to say it's been a great honor.  One of the greatest honors of my life to serve on the board for so many years. and I heart fully thank my constituents for voting me into the office and so many times.  It's been a great honor.Thank you very much everyone.  It's been such a pleasure working with everybody.  Even with the board. I think most of the time things go pretty smoothly, but we do agree to disagree sometimes. We've got the greatest department heads in the world."

A reception was held in Bauer's honor following the meeting and a number of department heads were toward the front of the line to wish Steve the best in his retirement.  A number of his constituents from District 4 stopped by to extend best wishes also.

During the meeting Commissioners passed a resolution accepting the wage adjustments for the County Administrator.  The position is being moved onto the new wage schedule effective December 28, 2018 to a step within the Administrator's pay grade representing a 40 cent increase over the Administrator's 2018 wage.

Each year the County Administrator's step increases would continue to be be reviewed by the County Board of Commissioners prior to receiving the next step on the Administrator's anniversary date.  For the year 2020 a 2.5 percent general wage increase would go into effect January 1.

For the year 2021 a 1.5 percent general wage increase would be effective January 1 and a 1.5 percent general wage increase effective July 1.

Commissioners passed a resolution setting their salaries.  Commissioner annual salaries in 2019 are $37,518.85 plus a $75.00 per diem for eligible meetings.  The Board Chair receives $38,058.60.

Commissioner Dave Miller said he would not take the increase because, "We get paid enough for what we do and I just won't take it."

A resolution setting the salaries of elected officials was also passed unanimously.  The Sheriff's wages for 2019 are $137,746 and the County Attorney receives a wage of $141,900.

Rice County Commissioner Steve Bauer-L Receives Retirement Gifts from Commissioner Galen Malecha. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Plaque of Appreciation for Rice County Commissioner Steve Bauer. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld