Silver Creek officials get 10 percent pay raisePublished 8:25am Tuesday, March 25, 2014
The leadership of Silver Creek Township will receive a boost in their salaries this year.
The township board passed their 2014/2015 budget, totaling $574,000, during a special meeting last week. As part of the budget, officials with the county will all be receiving a 10 percent raise, their first such increase in three years, said Township Supervisor Bill Saunders.
With the raise, Saunders will make $23,960 a year, while Clerk Barbara Runyon and Treasurer Maureen Kuriata will make $24,597. A special ad-hoc committee devoted to determining the township’s current pay scale suggested the pay raises.
The five-person committee concluded that the officials should receive a 12 percent raise totaling $4,000 over the next two years. However the board decided to reduce the raise to 10 percent, voting to give officials a one-time, $2,500 raise.
“We felt that we didn’t want that kind of raise, to be honest,” Saunders said. “Not that we didn’t necessarily deserve it, but we felt it was more money than we felt comfortable taking.”
The ad-hoc committee studied the earnings of townships with similar demographics in order to develop their suggestions, Saunders said.
“They were trying to bring into the median of what was being paid to township governments with a similar tax base,” he said.
One of the factors that the committee looked at was the fact that, despite the township’s 3,400 permanent residents, the population of the township doubles in the summer, said Walt Lehmann, one of the members of the committee.
“Seventy percent of our lakefront property is owned by people who don’t have a 49047 zip code,” Lehmann said.
These seasonal residents, who Lehmann referred to as “shadow residents,” in turn requires additional work from township officials, who must plan activities and deal with inquiries from real estate and contractors, Lehmann said.
“If you’re going to attract leaders who are competent and interested, you’re going to have to make it worth their while,” Lehmann said. “They’re not going to take on this type of stuff without receiving some sort of fair compensation.”
No resident who attended the meeting spoke for or against the pay raise, Saunders said. In addition, the township hasn’t received any communications chastising their decision, he added.
“We’ve operated on a balanced budget for the past nine years since I’ve been here,” Saunders said. “I’ve always been conscious our tax payers’ money, and how to spend it responsibly.”