More hours for deputy supervisor
July 13, 2011 - In the wake of Supervisor Dave Wagner's disability leave, Deputy Supervisor Rick Yeager was granted an extra two-and-a-half hours a week.
"When the deputy supervisor's contract was renewed by the board, it was renewed for 20 hours each week. Since that renewal, the township supervisor has been placed on disability leave due to a serious health condition," said Human Resource Director Carol Gabris. "The deputy supervisor must now attend virtually all Township Board meetings due to the absence of the supervisor, in addition to focusing on his main task of budget review and preparation."
Gabris pointed out Yeager had made a request in the past for the extra hours, but the board did not grant it.
"At the time he made the request, it was not approved by the board because with both the supervisor and the deputy present and working in the township, the increase in his hours was not necessary," Gabris said.
The motion for the extra hours passed on a 4-1 vote at the July 5 meeting. Trustee David Lohmeier was the lone "no" vote.
"I'm not going to vote for this because I think it's kind of an answer in search of a cure," he said. "(There is) no justification for it."
Lohmeier also said Yeager "doesn't virtually have to come to every meeting" because the meetings are taped.
"He comes to the meetings for budget reasons, which is why he was coming to the meetings before. I don't see any reason why he can't allocate the time, frankly," Lohmeier said. "He can work while he's waiting to present here, the two hours or so he'd be here."
Trustee Larry Rosso said he supported the recommended motion.
"This nominal increase in hours, which means compensation, is important that he does attend the board meetings and I think it's very helpful," Rosso said. "I think he should be compensated accordingly."
Even though it's not Trustee Neil Wallace's "preference" to give Yeager the extra hours, Wallace said he supported it only to ensure the budget was done.
"I don't want to see us get to the end of the year, have a budget problem with timing like we have had in the last couple of years," he said. "Then have the excuse made that the budget can't be on time because we thwarted it as a board by not coughing up an additional 10 percent of his time."
However, Wallace said Yeager was not "a true deputy" because he was hired to do budgets and shouldn't be seen "as a solution to our problem with the supervisor being out so long."
"I think in the long term this board needs to take the responsibility to do more than have this person continue on as supposedly, and in name only, the deputy supervisor. That is a fallacy that is not in the best interest of the township in pretty short order here," Wallace said. "We have managed to keep this together with bailing wire and duct tape, but we aren't getting the full advantage of that office."
Treasurer Curt Carson said he supported Yeager's extra hours because time spent at meetings takes away from his job.
"Like tonight, that was at least another four and half hours and he's got next week's meeting and the following week's meeting," Carson said. "Those are hours he can't spend doing his job. It just goes against his time."
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.