A new law will increase salaries of supervisors of elections statewide. But the St. Johns County Supervisor of Elections Vicky Oakes said she’s not sure whether she will take the increase, though she said she supports her fellow supervisors. The legislation, signed Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott, is expected to raise supervisors’ salaries by a per-county average of $18,450, according to a report by the News Service of Florida. That’s more than $1 million statewide. The law, set to take effect Oct. 1, would change numbers used for salary calculation for supervisors of elections to match those currently used for property appraiser, tax collector and clerk of courts, according to the bill and Florida statutes. The formula uses county population to determine salaries.
The current salary for the St. Johns County supervisor of elections is listed as $110,121, according to a report by the Florida Legislature’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research, which does not include salary based on special qualifications. The report lists salaries for the other constitutional officers as $129,096, except for the sheriff.
Oakes said the issue is about election supervisors being treated like other constitutional officers. “We were just asking to be treated equally,” she said. Still, she said she will decide during the budget process whether to take an increase, adding that she is content with what she makes. “I’m not in this job for the money,” Oakes said. “I’m in this job because I enjoy it. I enjoy educating people and talking to people and encouraging people to be a part of [the] process and let their voices be heard. I have a passion for my job that I developed over the years.”
Supporters of the law said that supervisors of elections had been paid less as a “legacy of an earlier era, when women held the overwhelming majority of supervisors’ offices. Most supervisors are still women,” according to the News Service of Florida.