The Crawford County Salary Board split 3-2 on Wednesday in approving additional 27-cent per hour wage hikes in 2020 for 12 court-related employees — department heads and other positions in some court-related offices.

In December, the previous Salary Board approved 40-cent-per-hour increases for the heads of adult probation, juvenile probation and domestic relations, as well as chief deputies and supervisors in those departments.

The votes in December were 4-0 vote in favor, plus one abstention by then President Judge Anthony Vardaro, who had wanted a 75-cent per hour increase. Vardaro said he abstained because the 40-cent increase was unfair to employees administrators.

The current Crawford County Salary Board is comprised by the three county commissioners — Eric Henry, Francis Weiderspahn Jr. and John Christopher Soff; county treasurer Christine Krzysiak; and the respective department head whose deputy is being considered for a raise at that time. President Crawford County Court of Common Pleas Judge John Spataro was the fifth person eligible to vote Wednesday for the court-related offices of adult probation, juvenile probation and domestic relations.

Prior to the votes Wednesday, Spataro offered a compromise on the 27-cent per hour increase for the courts employees, saying the increases and associated costs could be paid out of offender supervision fees, which the court system oversees. The move would not impact the county's general fund, Spataro said.

The Salary Board split 3-2 on the increases with Weiderspahn, Soff and Spataro voting for them while Henry and Krzysiak voted against. Henry and Krzysiak said they couldn't support the additional 27-cent per hour increase even though it was funded without impacting the general fund. It was because the increases were on top of the 40-cent per hour already given to non-union county employees in December and would be more than what was given to the other non-union or exempt county employees.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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