County Commission salary to rise to $105,541

Board approves adjustment for 2024 and 2025 fiscal years

The County Commission sits in session on Sept. 26, with County Administrator Jonathan Lewis (second from right) and County Attorney Joshua Moye (far right). News Leader image

The new salary for the Sarasota County commissioners, effective with the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year, is $105,541, thanks to a state report and a unanimous vote of approval of the commissioners on Sept. 26.

That salary will remain in effect through Sept. 30, 2025, according to the provision in state law that deals with compensation for elected public officials — Chapter 145 of the Florida Statutes.

The public hearing was listed as a Presentation Upon Request, meaning that no remarks about the issue would be offered unless a commissioner requested them. None of the board members did so that day.

The Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research produces its salary list on the basis of county population. The latter comes from the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research.

For Sarasota County, the 2022 estimate is 452,378, as shown in a chart published by the Office of Economic and Demographic Research in a Sept. 19 document.

Just four years ago, in August 2019, the salary the commissioners approved for the next two fiscal years was $87,930. Thus, the board members’ pay has risen a little more than 20% since then.

The county’s population estimate in 2019, according to the Florida Office of Economic and Demographic Research, was 426,275.

That office explained in a past document that, prior to action by the Florida Legislature in 1973, “the authorization of changes to county officers’ compensation required frequent legislative action. … [T]he Legislature determined that a uniform salary law was needed to replace the previous local law method of determining compensation, which was haphazard, preferential, inequitable, and probably unconstitutional. In addition, the Legislature intended to provide for uniform compensation of county officers having substantially equal duties and responsibilities and basing these uniform salary schedules on countywide population.”

The latest materials from the Office of Economic and Demographic Research put the Manatee County Commission salary at $104,723. Manatee’s 2022 population estimate was 421,768.

For Charlotte County, the salary is $87,337, based on a population estimate of 196,742.

On a related note, the Sarasota city commissioners’ salary rose to $50,308.53 on Oct. 1. Those board members’ pay is governed by the state statute that deals with county commissioners’ salaries.

Approval of a City Charter amendment during the November 2022 General Election resulted in a change in how the city commissioners’ pay is figured. The increase was proposed by members of a board appointed a couple of years ago to consider updates to the City Charter.