Correcting a Wrong: Venango Co. Commissioners to Increase Coroner’s Pay Nearly 100 Percent Over Next Four Years

| September 12, 2018

FRANKLIN, Pa. (EYT) – The Venango County Commissioners took steps Tuesday at a special meeting following the regular monthly commissioners meeting to bring the pay for the county coroner in line with other Sixth Class Counties in the Commonwealth.

(Photo: Current Venango County coroner Christina Rugh)

“Our coroner is making the lowest of all Sixth Class Counties at around $24,000.00,” Commissioner Vincent Witherup said. “The average salary is $46,000.00.”

Witherup said the range in coroner’s salaries in Sixth Class Counties ranged from $23,000.00 to $64,000.00 in 2017 with Venango County being the lowest.

In order to bring the coroner’s pay to closer to the average, the commissioners voted to give the position a 20 percent raise in 2020, a 15 percent raise in 2021, a 15 percent raise in 2022 and a 10 percent raise in 2023.

“That will bring it in just below the current average salary,” Witherup said.

Witherup said he understood how the county ended up on the low end of the pay scale for the coroner’s position stating that for a long time it was just an add-on financial service for the coroner’s funeral business.

But times have changed according to Witherup.

“Christina (current Venango County coroner Christina Rugh) is doing most of the calls herself,” Witherup said. “That amount to 140 or 150 calls a year. It is a full-time job. We are just trying to correct a wrong with this raise.”

The commissioners also set raises for the other county row offices at zero percent for 2020, 2.5 percent for 2021, 2.5 percent for 2022 and 2.0 percent for 2023. The first three years are exactly the same raises as in the union contract recently signed by the county.

In addition, the commissioners’ salary for 2020-2023 will be set as if the commissioners had taken the raises given to the other row offices from 2016-2019. The commissioners had elected to not take any pay raises from 2016-2019.

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