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Updated: Fire Commissioners’ Payment Increase Up For Vote At February Council Meeting

1-12-16 Meeting - 13

The Township Council Feb. 9 will vote on proposed payment increases for some township fire commissioners.


Update: The proposed increases were approved by the council at the Feb. 9 meeting.

Original Story: Proposed payment increases for some of the township’s fire commissioners are up for a vote at the Township Council’s February 9 meeting.

Commissioners in Fire Districts 1 and 2 are asking for increases for commissioners and the commission’s clerk, respectively. There are no proposed increases for commissioners in Fire Districts 3 and 4.

Fire District 1 is asking for a $500 increase for the four commissioners, which would bring their compensation to $6,500. The commissioner designated as chairman would continue to receive $7,500.

All five commissioners received $1,000 increases in 2015, bringing the chairman’s salary to $7,500 and the remaining four commissioners’ to $6,000.

Fire District 2 is asking for an increase from $6,000 to $12,000 in the compensation for the commissioner designated as clerk.

“The Commissioners state that the Clerk expends substantial and ever increasing time and effort in providing services and believes the compensation is appropriate,” according to a memo from Township Clerk Ann Marie McCarthy.

The 100 percent raise “did raise an eyebrow” with the council’s financial oversight committee, Mayor Phillip Kramer said at the council’s Jan. 26 meeting. The council traditionally discusses the proposed fire district salaries at one meeting, and then votes on recommendations at the following meeting.

“The work that person does is enormous,” he said. Kramer said the commission wanted the increase so it would not have to hire a second person.

Kramer suggested that the suggestion was made that the payment not be called a salary, but rather a stipend, that could be paid by the commission as work is completed.

“The Fire District 2 representative thought this was a good idea,” he said, “so that is the recommendation.”

Deputy Mayor Ted Chase said designating the payment as a stipend “would give a little more control to the commissioners over whether they should spend it.”

The council’s next meeting is 7 p.m. Feb. 9 in the municipal building on DeMott Lane.

The fire district elections are set for from 2-9 p.m. Feb. 20, during which commissioners are elected and fire district budgets are approved.

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