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Newton Co. Coroner Withdraws, Cites Low Salary - KOAM TV 7

Newton Co. Coroner Withdraws, Cites Low Salary

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Newton County, Missouri -

The Newton County coroner has decided to withdraw his name from consideration for office. Mark Bridges announced his decision today after legislation for a pay increase for the job, which is meant to be part time, was denied.

Serving as the Newton County coroner for 20 years, Bridges announces that he will not seek another term. He says it’s strictly financial and that since the Joplin tornado, he has not be able to work another job. Therefore working full time as the coroner with a part time salary.

“it would be as much, if not more, than many of the office holders in the county so what I was looking at was trying to get a salary in the same range as other office holders,” says Bridges

Bridges makes $27,500 a year, which he says is half as much as the other office holders. It is $2,000 more a year than the Jasper County coroner makes.

Bridges attributes the increase in his workload to having 2 hospitals within the county. When he wanted a pay increase, Bridges had to ask a salary commission made up of all elected county officials. They suggested he take the issue to the legislature and they declined to act on the request.

“The Newton County Commission has no authority over the salary of elected officials. The salaries for elected officials are set and established by the Missouri legislature,” says Commissioner Jim Jackson.

And after 20 years of service, there are no hard feelings.

“I’m not saying that this is a totally bad thing because it’s hard on somebody when you deal with death every day, so I’m leaving it with mixed feelings,” says Bridges.

“He is a very special, dedicated person, he will be missed and he did an outstanding job for the county,” says Jackson.

Bridges adds, he may look at running for another office. The election to fill the office will be in August and filing for the position will be open until next Wednesday in the City Clerk's office.

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