Along with approving other negotiated employee contracts last week, Trinity County supervisors authorized a pay increase for the County Administrative Officer, Richard Kuhns, while praising his work over the past two and a half years since he accepted the job.

His original contract of October 2017 included the annual salary of $125,000 plus other employee benefits. It was increased last week by $10,500 per year based on an informal survey of CAO salaries paid in similar jurisdictions in Northern California to individuals with comparable experience and responsibilities.

The survey showed Modoc County to be at the low end of $120,000 a year followed by Lake County at $136,224. From there they go up to $185,784 in Colusa County; $157,284 in Tehama; $217,788 in Shasta; $181,800 in Siskiyou and $222,909 in Humboldt, amounting to an overall average salary of $174,398 for the counties surveyed.

In prior negotiations, the board increased the salary of department heads to 80 percent of the average salaries based on a formal classification and compensation study performed by Koff and Associates.

It was noted that the intent of the board is to keep Kuhns consistent with other department heads and pay him 80 percent of the average salaries which would be $138,000 (still higher than the $135,500 salary authorized).

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