Commissioner-elect Randy Hague and other newly elected Harvey County officials were sworn in to office during a special ceremony Monday at the courthouse.

Hague will be representing Harvey County Commission District No. 2. In last year's election, he defeated incumbent Marge Roberson, who lost in the primary but conducted a write-in campaign. Incumbent Ron Krehbiel, who was re-elected to Harvey County Commission District No. 3, also was sworn in Monday.

Roberson said she enjoyed her time as a commissioner and wished the new commission well in the next year.

"I have enjoyed representing the people," she said at her last meeting as a commissioner. "... I wish all of you good luck."

Hague also thanked Roberson for helping him to prepare for his new position.

"I thank you for the really smooth transition that you've provided for me," he said.

Other business

At Monday's commission meeting, commissioners also approved a resolution setting the salaries for Harvey County department heads, including the county attorney and the county sheriff.

Anthony Swartzendruber, assistant administrator and finance director for the county, said raises employees have received are based on the results of a recent compensation classification study. The study recommended minor adjustments to employee pay ranges in order to bring the county's payroll more in line with the market.

"Most people were below, and some did need some kind of adjustment to be made," said John Waltner, county administrator.

The study, which was conducted by the Austin Peters Group, revealed some county employees were underpaid and some were overpaid.

The Austin Peters Group interviewed county employees, reviewed job descriptions and observed employees on the job, and then they ranked positions based on decision-making powers, supervisory duties, education, working conditions and other factors. After comparing Harvey County information to data from about 30 public and private organizations, the firm developed recommended pay ranges for the county.

The county’s total cost to bring its pay ranges in line with the market was about $270,000, officials previously reported. The new pay ranges will place the county in the midpoint of the market, meaning half of all employers pay more and half of all employers pay less.

Swartzendruber said the two workers who happened to be above where they should be in terms of recommended pay will have their salaries "frozen" in place until the scale catches up.

Jim Meier, county Road and Bridge superintendent, said the new pay ranges will help the county to retain employees who might have quit because they could have earned higher wages elsewhere.