Akeley deputy clerk receives wage increase

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Enterprise file photo.

Akeley deputy clerk Kella Dunham/s wages were increased to $17 per hour at a special Akeley City Council meeting Feb. 23.
“She does so much more for parks and liquor store than she has ever done before and knows that stuff inside and out,” mayor Brian Hitchcock said.

“She helps with the water and sewer too,” council member Bobbie Wosika said. “She’s always stepped up when we needed her so everything went smoothly. She helps anyone who needs a helping hand.”

Hitchcok proposed raising Kella’s wage from $14.86 per hour to $17 per hour based on her points in the pay equity system and the pay for comparable jobs in the community. “You can start as a night stocker at Walmart for $18.50,” he said.

Hitchcock said increases in the deputy clerk wages and compensation will be covered from the budgets of the departments she works for.

“We have money in savings and wouldn’t be over budget because of that,” Hitchcock said.


City clerk Kristi Kath said she wants to see the pay increase go through to keep Dunham in the position.

The council approved changing the wage cap on the deputy clerk position to $18 per hour and cap the part time public works position at $18 as well.

Wosika made the motion to increase the deputy clerk’s wages to $17 per hour effective with the next pay period.

Kristin Fake was the only person at the meeting who made a comment, asking why this wasn’t done when the city set their budget.

Hitchcock said they weren’t aware of the issue at that time.

“We discovered later this position was grossly underpaid,” he said. “I saw it when looking at pay equity numbers and thought she wasn’t being compensated enough for all she is doing.”

Lorie Skarpness has lived in the Park Rapids area since 1997 and has been writing for the Park Rapids Enterprise since 2017. She enjoys writing features about the people and wildlife who call the north woods home.
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