Butler County administrator given 5% pay hike

Butler County Commissioners voted on Monday morning, Feb. 4, 2019, to hire Judi Boyko, the former West Chester Administrator who is currently the assistant administrator in Hamilton County, as new county administrator.

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Butler County Commissioners voted on Monday morning, Feb. 4, 2019, to hire Judi Boyko, the former West Chester Administrator who is currently the assistant administrator in Hamilton County, as new county administrator.

County Administrator Judi Boyko this week was called the “the best of the best” when Butler County commissioners approved a 5% pay increase for her.

Commissioners Don Dixon and T.C. Rogers approved the $8,987 raise retroactive to March 6 but Commissioner Cindy Carpenter, without comment, voted no. Dixon said Boyko routinely works 12 hour-plus days and weekends “she does whatever it takes, she doesn’t complain and she gets it done.”

“She’s earned it. Anybody that pays just a little attention to the county business and what goes on she’s got her hands in all of it,” Dixon said. “In today’s world people move around, department heads leave, some come, some go, you have to have somebody that has that overall knowledge to keep the county focused and on the plan and she has the ability to do that.”

Dixon and Rogers filled out performance evaluations for Boyko but Carpenter did not submit one. Dixon gave her 249 out of a possible 250 points. Rogers gave her 238 points in the 10 categories that include: individual characteristics; professional skills and status; relations with elected members of the governing board; policy execution; reporting; citizen relations; staffing; supervision; fiscal management and community.

Rogers said he thought the raise was appropriate and “she deserves it.”

“She has had a difficult year with outside circumstances with the pandemic and also opening it up,” he said. “She’s taken on additional responsibilities and she’s still doing them well.”

Dixon gave her the top score “almost always exceeds the performance standard” in every measurement area except one category under policy execution. He gave her a 4 or above average score for “offers workable alternatives to the governing board for changes in law or policy when an existing policy or ordinance is no longer practical.”

Under the comment section he told her to “stop working such long hours and have more downtime for yourself.” He also said she needs to realize not everyone agrees with her ideas and not to take it personally. Her strength is her “ability to respond professionally when criticized unfairly by superior.”

Rogers gave her perfect top scores in four of the categories for individual characteristics, professional skills, fiscal management and community engagement. He gave her an average score for responding to constructive criticism and responding in a timely manner when her superiors request special reports.

Explore$420,000 in raises will go to Butler County employees

In the narrative section he identified her strengths as “professionalism, respect of overall community, work ethic, attention to detail and highly intelligent.” He said she tries “to get full consensus on everything, set a maximum time limit for yes or no decision on projects.” He also said she should “focus on a small set of results and do not let major problems sidetrack the momentum.”

Carpenter could not be reached for comment on why she did not fill out a performance evaluation and voted against the raise.

The commissioners hand-picked Boyko in 2019 and skipped her raise in 2020 because of the pandemic — she didn’t remind them they overlooked her — and they gave her a 4.5% increase last year.

Butler is the 7th largest county in the state and Boyko is responsible for a total county budget of $505.5 million, around 600 employees and 14 departments under the commissioners’ direct control and communicating and interacting with 15 other elected officials and seven independent boards.

The rest of the staff received their raises in January. The commissioners approved nearly $420,000 to reward 137 non-union employees.

The commissioners for several years have operated with a two-part performance pay formula that calls for pay hikes in the 1% to 3% range added to an employee’s base pay which they refer to as part A and another 1% to 3% percent available in lump sum payments they call part B.

Traditionally the commissioners set a 2% pool of money from a given department’s total payroll for eligible, non-union employees for the base increases and an equal amount for the lump sum incentive bonuses. This year they increased the pools of money to 3%.

The other offices holders and independent boards approve their own raise distributions and most of them budgeted a 3% increase for salaries for this year. The total amount budgeted for wages — not including benefits — is $107.67 million for all funds for about 2,000 employees, the general fund budgeted salaries total $53.5 million.

Only 11 employees received the full extent of available merit raises, nine received 3% on their base and another 3% in lump sums paid quarterly. The other two people have hit the maximum of their pay range so they received a 6% lump sum merit raise.

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