Friday, September 14, 2012
Grafton Slashes Officials' Salaries For Next Four Years
The meeting opened with the usual grueling audit of the Township's monthly bills, complicated this time by 30 pages of surprise resolutions by Supervisor Linda Moore to take money from one place in the Township budget to fill in a hole elsewhere. Trustees only OK'ed three, complaining they hadn't had time to make sense of the changes. An hour and a half's bickering boiled down to a final exchange.
"This is what happens when the Board passes a budget that's underfunded," chastised Moore.
"This," snapped back Trustee Barb Murphy, "is what happens when you spend too much," .
Separately, the Board finally agreed to pay the bill for the 2009-10 Township audit, opening the way to complete the long-delayed 10-11 audit. "I say, 'Get it out of here'", said Murphy. Later Moore said, "I would anticipate (auditor) Paul Thermen could be at a meeting soon," something trustees have been demanding all year.
Likewise separately, Road Commissioner Jack Freund, for whose Road District Moore is Treasurer, complained his District's credit card had been cut off for non-payment of bills. Moore replied that the issuing bank had tied the card and the one for the Assessor's Office to her own Supervisor's credit card and that one had been stopped. The backstory there was in a Moore press release (strangely withheld from FEN) last week that the bank had frozen her Township credit card for non-payment of bills. The backstory to that was two Board motions this Summer to cancel the Supervisors credit card for what they considered overuse.
Trustee Betty Zirk revealed the proposed pay cuts for the next four-year Township cycle saying, "With the economy the way it is...I believe it is our responsibility to (taxpayers) to do our part." Zirk said she started with across the board percentage cuts and then tried to adjust for job difficulty and by comparison to other townships. "We were in the upper bracket, the low end of the upper bracket," said Zirk. "Now we're about in the middle."
The schedule calls for whacking the Supervisor's salary next year from just short of $60,000 to $40,000. The Assessor's salary will be cut from $77,400 to $68,000. The Road Commissioner's salary will fall from $71,000 to $58,000 and the Clerk's salary will plummet from $11,200 to $7,200. Compensation for trustees, currently $100 per meeting, will drop to $75 per session starting next year. The new four-year schedule includes two percent raises per year from the new bases.
The vote for the measure was unanimous with Trustee Rob LaPorta absent. "That's the first thing they've all agreed on all year," muttered one resident.
In the pic: Grafton Trustee Barb Murphy read passages often Wednesday from the Township Officials of Illinois handbook. Supervisor Linda Moore read passages back to her from Circuit Judge Michael Caldwell's legal decision a year ago.