The Marion Township Board of Trustees was split in their decision of how much of a wage increase was deserved for officials.

At their regular meeting Thursday night, board members debated necessity of granting the supervisor, clerk, and treasurer a 17% pay increase. Trustee Scott Lloyd thought up front that that number was “a little high.” Clerk Tammy Beal said she believes through research that it is a deserving amount. Beal said the board asked her to do a wage study to compare what township employees in Marion Township make as opposed to elsewhere. She said that while every township runs things a little differently, what she saw was that the supervisor, clerk, and treasurer were being paid “way below” for what service they provide and the hours they work.

Trustee Dan Lowe said that counting a raise in 2012, this is a 32% increase over the last 5 years and compared it to what school teachers got. He said he felt this was a community job meant to benefit the community, and not be a full time occupation. In a memo to the board dated June 15th, it was noted that the supervisor, treasurer, and clerk take on the duties of what a township manager would do, saving the taxpayers $90,000. Lloyd made a motion offering the three a 10% increase with 3% to other employees. That motion failed 4-3. Separate motions for the supervisor, clerk, and treasurer at 17% were made, and passed 4-3, 5-2, and 5-2 respectively. Lloyd and Lowe opposed all 3, Trustee Greg Durbin also opposed on the supervisor.

Durbin did say that he thinks the people running the township are doing a good job. He petitioned for an increase in the insurance stipend for township employees, which would grant those who chose not to enroll in the township’s plan an extra $600 a month, as opposed to $500. That motion passed 5-2. Trustee Les Andersen noted that not offering the stipend would actually end up costing the township more in insurance costs, over time. (MK)