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Independence outsources HR

April 17, 2013 - The Independence Township Board will outsource Human Resources and payroll services, but the cost of doing so included laying off an employee.

On April 2, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously to hire Human Capital for one year for $62,280.

Independence Township's HR and payroll department's budget currently totals $177,514; therefore, the township will save $115,234 by outsourcing.

"We felt bringing in a professional organization would be in the best interest of the township," said Supervisor Pat Kittle.

Independence Township received a five percent discount for the human resources portion because they partnered with Orion Township to hire the Rochester Hills firm. In 2013, Independence will pay Human Capital $33,400 for HR as opposed to $35,200.

"We joined forces with Independence Township," said Orion Township Supervisor Chris Barnett during a March 18 meeting. "Our joint committees unanimously decided Human Capital would be the right fit for both communities."

Orion's Board of Trustees voted to pay $34,736 for Human Capital's HR services.

In addition to employing Human Capital for HR duties, Independence Township also agreed to pay them $28,880 for payroll service. Because Human Capital will be taking on these functions, Finance Clerk Paula Heenan's position was no longer needed. In a 6-1 vote, the Board of Trustees voted to eliminate the position of finance clerk and lay off Heenan.

Trustee David Lohmeier voted "no."

"This is a real tough one for me," he said. "Is there a way we can take a valued employee and utilize her in an effective way through training or otherwise?"

Clerk Barb Pallotta said no.

"This is the downside of making a hard decision like this because it does impact an employee who has been here for almost nine years," Pallotta said.

"This has been a really hard and emotional decision," she said. "We spent quite a few hours actually discussing whether or not we can afford not to do this. That's what it boiled down to; we had to do it because we couldn't justify the cost."

Heenan will receive a severance of one month's salary and up to $3,000 in healthcare and outplacement services. The Board voted to terminate HR Director Carol Gabris in December.

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