Csokasy interim contract approvedPublished 11:40pm Thursday, July 19, 2012
Cass County has officially accepted a contract for an interim administrator, agreeing to pay Louis Csokasy a prorated amount calculated from an annual base salary of $98,000.
During the regular meeting of the Cass County Board of Commissioners Thursday evening, the board approved the contract for Csokasy as an interim administrator 13-2, with commissioners Gordon Bickel and Clark Cobb voting no.
Csokasy, previously co-manager of the Cass and St. Joseph county road commissions, will receive an annual base salary of $98,000, prorated for eight months of employment, with benefits through the Cass County Road Commission. The contract also agrees to reimburse the road commission for the costs of the salary on a monthly basis.
Csokasy began his employment as administrator July 9. The contract approved Thursday is valid until March 8, 2013, at which time the county will review the terms and either allow the contract to expire or draw up an extension.
The contract further explains that Csokasy’s status is temporary and that he has not been promised, guaranteed or assured the permanent position.
It also explains Csokasy has not promised, guaranteed or assured that he would accept the position if offered.
Commissioner Bob Wagel, among other commissioners, said he had some concerns about the contract.
“There should be a formal application filled out, among other documents,” Wagel said. “I have the utmost respect for Louis, but there is certain protocol we as a board must follow.”
Chairwoman Minnie Warren said that because Csokasy will continue to be paid from the road commission, he is “being borrowed” from road commission.
“We didn’t hire Louis, we’re borrowing him,” Warren said. “He’s an interim here; the road commission bills us for his use.”
Other contract negotiations, which had to be approved by both party’s legal counsel and the board before becoming effective, were that Csokasy will receive a monthly $350 car allowance to complete the duties outlined.
In other county board news, the board approved the preliminary budget for 2013, citing a $685,394 deficit in the general fund. The county overview of the proposed budget states that the cause for the deficit is a combination of “non-growth in property taxes and…increased cost in wages and benefits.”
According to the proposal, the county expects to operate in a deficit in the future “if no structural changes are forthcoming.”
“Every effort is going to be made to meet a balance at the county level,” Csokasy said.
The next county board meeting will take place at 7 p.m. Aug. 2.