Fleischmanns Trustee asks for salary reinstatement
By Jay Braman Jr.
The public hearing for the Fleischmanns Village budget was well attended but without incident Monday night as village trustees discussed the tentative plan.
But one trustee asked if it was all right if she made a comment on the plan to remove her salary as well those of the other trustees and the mayor.
Kathleen Rostad Miles, who has been a trustee for less than a year, said that she felt it was important to pay the board members and wants the board to reconsider the issue before the budget is adopted.
One way that Mayor Todd Pascarella is trying to save money is to not give any raises to village employees. In the case of elected officials like the mayor and the four village trustees, all five will lose their salaries, all but one dollar of each that is.
Pascarella was getting $2,400 a year for his service. The four trustees were getting $1,200 each per year. But, according to Rostad Miles, removing the money incentive may deter future would-be trustees from considering the position. “I think we’re setting a bad precedent,” she said.
Pascarella said that he removed the salaries out of fairness because the employees were not getting raises, and for most of them their village job is their way of earning a living, whereas the trustees all have other jobs.
It was suggested that the village should cut the hours of full-time employees and give the salaries back to the trustees. That way the budget could stay the same.
In terms of good news for the budget, it was noted that revenues were higher than expected in the 2012 budget year. Delinquent tax payments and penalties were anticipated to bring in $29,000, but the village has actually received $47,914.
It was noted that village officials made a math error recently when they figured that they were giving a property owner a waiver from paying a $14,000 water bill.
The waiver, said to be granted in exchange for a land easement, was actually only for $7,000.