Raises for 2 Portage park employees tabled
By John Robbins Post-Tribune correspondent August 7, 2013 11:28AM
Updated: September 8, 2013 6:23AM
PORTAGE — For want of an email, raises for two Portage park department employees were deferred by the Portage City Council at its monthly meeting Tuesday night until at least next month.
Portage Council members Ted Uzelac, Elizabeth Modesto and Patrick Clem say they did not receive an email message from park superintendent Jenny Orsburn outlining the justification for increasing the hourly rate of pay for the two employees.
Orsburn was seeking increased pay to better reflect the duties and responsibilities of the employees and bring them in line with the pay of employees doing comparable work.
In addition to having too many unanswered questions, Uzelac expressed concern about giving raises to the park department employees when most city employees have not had raises for several years.
Even while departmental budgets are still being hammered out, the council approved advertising a preliminary 2014 budget of $29.6 million.
“This budget is nowhere near what we’re going to be approving,” Clerk Treasurer Christopher Stidham said, but is a necessary step in the budgeting process. The state reviews budget requests and typically reduces those requests.
Stidham expects the final 2014 budget to be 4 percent to 5 percent less than the already lean 2013 budget because of reduced property tax collections due to tax caps and a reduction in the value of assessed property.
Director of Public Works A. J. Monroe told the council that, in the absence of adverse weather, an aggressive construction schedule could see the Central Avenue road construction project between Hamstrom and McCool roads completed by Aug. 20.
The road project includes drainage work, sidewalks, curbs, paving and striping.