The Office of the State Comptroller released a report this morning criticizing the Monmouth County Board of Commissioners for raising their own salaries from $27,000 to $30,000, and the salary of the county sheriff from $136,133 to $178,343, without following the proper process of public input.
Under state law, county commissioners must hold a public hearing on salary increases, vote on the increase in a public meeting, and allow citizens to challenge the increase and put it on the ballot during a general election. According to the OSC, the Monmouth County board followed none of these steps.
“By not following the public process, the Monmouth County Board of Commissioners deprived voters an opportunity to participate in the county government in the way required by law,” the OSC wrote. “Circumventing the public process undermines transparency and public confidence in local government.”
The issue may have already come to a conclusion, however; the OSC report stated that in response to their findings, the county has already passed a resolution raising the sheriff’s salary using the proper procedure, and plans to do so for the county commissioners’ salary.