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Village council divided on second pay hikes



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June 12, 2013 - Goodrich-By a vote of 3-2 on Monday night the village council OK'd a $2 per hour pay hike as part of the 2013-14 budget. The pay hike for village employees will mark the second consecutive year their compensation has increased by $2 per hour.

Councilmembers Rick Horton, Pete Morey and Richard Saroli voted yes, while Doug McAbee and Mark Baldwin voted no on the resolution.

In 2012 the council also voted 3-1 at a special budget meeting to budget a $2 per hour raise for village employees. Councilmember Doug McAbee voted no also at that time.

Similar to last year, the raises are for one full-time Department of Public Works employee, an administrative assistant, and two part-time employees—a deputy clerk and treasurer. Last year Jakki Sidge, village administrator, did not receive the pay hike-- rather, an increase in hours from 32 to 34 per week. This year she will receive the pay increase.

"We have not raised taxes in the village since 2005," said Horton. "I think we have good people here at the village. It might seem high to some, but a lot of the money for the wages comes from the state, too."

Doug McAbee opposed the raises.

"The citizens of the village would vote this down," said McAbee. "That's who we represent. We are not in a contest with other municipalities (for wages). I just can't support this—it's not that you or any village employee are not doing your job."

Sidge said the budget was prepared earlier this year and available for discussion with the pay hikes included.

"I have worked here for 23 years," she said. "We don't have a retirement plan here at the village. And it would have been nice had the discussion on wages been done prior to the resolutions being voted on tonight."

According to the village charter, the budget must be adopted no later than the first regular monthly meeting in June, which was Monday night and by resolution the council must also adopt a budget for the next fiscal year and appropriate the money needed for municipal purposes during the year.

Saroli supported the raises.

"To clarify my yes vote regarding the increase of wages for the administration employees: If the (village) budget was not approved as it existed today, based on the village administrators decree, the council would be in violation of the village charter," he said. "I believe this violation would possibly be grounds for the recall of the council members who voted against approval. The last thing the village would need is another ugly issue that would divide the residents of the village."

"There's no doubt in my mind that would happen," he added. "We have to weigh everything we do."

The village council voted 4-1 to approved the 2013-14 budget which added about $13,000 to the general fund.

Councilmember Doug McAbee voted no.

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