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Analysis of pay shows huge raises for a few in Mesa County

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — A recent analysis shows Mesa County’s top administrators received large pay raises this year while rank-and-file workers have seen only slight increases, if any, over the past several years.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel’s analysis of county salaries over nearly five years also found that county officials intentionally kept discussions about employee pay away from the public and the media.

A computer database analysis of salaries for all county workers shows from commissioners on down, the county’s top three officials saw double-digit pay raises this year. The biggest one went to County Administrator Frank Whidden, whose annual salary rose from $131,000 a year to $180,000 in 2018, a 37 percent hike.

However, Whidden says there have been plenty of pay raises in recent years, most of which have come in the form of merit increases or bonus pay.