A year after forgoing a raise, Ramsey County commissioners are considering a 2 percent salary increase for 2011.

On Tuesday, they set June 15 as the date for a public hearing on the matter. The County Board must approve its annual salary through an ordinance that needs to pass by July 1 each year.

Under the proposed ordinance for next year, salaries would increase from $82,400 to $84,048. The salary for the board chair, currently Victoria Reinhardt, would increase from $84,975 to $86,675.

Commissioners voted last year to forgo a 3 percent raise because of the economy.

Commissioner pay has been a sticky topic in recent years. Opponents made it a main campaign issue during the 2008 elections, but none of the challengers won.

The focus of their ire was on a 25 percent raise the County Board approved for itself for 2008. It amounted to a $16,000 increase for each commissioner, who said that much was necessary to catch up to others in similar jobs. At the time, there was little public opposition.

Four commissioners are up for reelection this year: Toni Carter, Jim McDonough, Rafael Ortega and Janice Rettman.

In the metro area, only Hennepin County commissioners make more than Ramsey County's.

The public hearing will be held at 9 a.m. June 15 in the Council Chambers on the third floor of the courthouse, 15 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. Comments may be sent to the county clerk at bonnie.jackelen@co.ramsey.mn.us.