Following Outcry, Chesterfield Officials Remove Pay Raises From Budget
Chesterfield Township Board of Trustees discussed the proposed 2012 budget Tuesday at a special meeting in municipal offices on Sugarbush Road.
Three full-time, elected Chesterfield Township officials withdrew their requests for pay hikes after initially seeking to increase their annual salaries by nearly $51,000 combined.
The Chesterfield Township Board of Trustees held a special meeting Tuesday at municipal offices on Sugarbush Road to discuss the township’s proposed 2012 budget, as well as voice concerns about the proposed salary increases.
“It would have been unfair for us to take a pay raise when everyone else agreed to a four-year wage freeze,” Chesterfield Township Clerk Jan Uglis said during a break in the nearly three-hour meeting. Uglis also said the request was intended for the 2012 Board of Trustees.
The initial request sought to increase Supervisor Mike Lovelock’s annual salary from $60,460 to $90,000, as well as bump up the salaries of Uglis and Treasurer Linda Hartman from $57,820 to $68,500 annually.
Hartman said after the session that the pay raises were removed partly because of the public outcry regarding the issue. She added that, at the time the salary increases were proposed, she had already decided she would not accept a raise while serving as treasurer.
Trustee Christine Bell said during the hearing that she is still unsure why the officials withdrew the requests, but agreed it was the right move for the township.
“I want them to not only withdraw it because they don’t want the criticism or because they don’t think they have the votes, I want them to reassure me that in their heads and in their hearts they know it’s the right thing to do,” Bell said.
“We can’t put a pay raise in a budget because we think we have 100 reasons why we deserve it,” she added. “I’m glad to see that for, whatever the reason, that they are withdrawing them.”
Budget Shortfall for '12
Residents filled the Township Board Room, where township Finance Director Victoria Bauer gave an overview presentation of the proposed 2012 general fund budget.
The township is projecting roughly $6.5 million in general fund revenue and about $7 million in general fund expenditures, estimating a loss of approximately $450,000.
Board members suggested a few minor changes to the proposed 2012 budget:
- Trustee Brian Scott DeMuynck suggested making the Miss Chesterfield Pageant a privatized event. In a compromise, the board ended up tentatively decreasing funding for the pageant from $3,000 to $2,500.
- Trustee Michele Ficht suggested removing a $1,000 travel, training, school and conference expense from the trustees’ budgeted expenses. The board agreed and it was removed from the budget.
'I don't want to see this township broke...'
Chesterfield Township resident Nancy Orewyler stepped up during public comments and voiced her concern to the board about the projected budget deficit. She told the board that she thinks any budget item that is not necessary should be cut.
“I don’t want to see this township broke,” Orewyler said. “We cannot keep running this deficit year after year.”
Trustee Jerry Alexie agreed that cuts should be made to try to maintain a balanced budget.
“I don’t think we’ll get to a balanced budget, but we’ll try to get as close as we can,” Alexie said.
The board will vote on the final 2012 budget in the beginning of December.