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It's my understanding that census enumerators and census workers in adjacent counties, such as Jefferson and Leavenworth County, are paid at a higher salary than workers in Douglas County, up to 30 percent more. Can that be, and if so, what's the rationale behind it?

Sherman Parks, district manager for the local census office in Topeka, said that workers in Douglas County are paid less for the same position in neighboring counties.

"They actually decided some time ago, through a consulting firm for the Department of Commerce, Bureau of Census, how each and every census office is going to be paid," Parks said. "Unfortunately our district has the pay scale as what Hays has, and the Kansas City area has the same pay scale as what Wichita would have."

Franklin, Leavenworth and Jefferson counties are all part of the Kansas City, Kan., district of the census. An enumerator in that district makes $12 an hour, whereas the same worker in Douglas County makes $9 an hour. Parks said you must live in the census district for which you want to work.

"We have argued this point to our superiors, and unfortunately there's no flexibility for that issue," Parks said. "Franklin and Leavenworth counties benefited from that."

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