Hobart council agrees to pay salary of senior center director
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent August 15, 2012 9:34PM
Updated: September 17, 2012 12:57PM
HOBART — After considerable discussion and initial dissension among some council members, the City Council on Wednesday agreed to pay the executive director of the Maria Reiner Senior Center’s $35,000 salary out of the mayor’s budget next year instead of the center’s budget.
Executive director Pam Broadaway and Tom Ehrhardt, chairman of the center, asked the council to pay Broadaway’s salary from city funds for two years so the 1-year-old center can get on its feet.
When plans for the center were approved, it was with the understanding that the city would loan the center money that would be paid back, with the intention that the center eventually would become self-funding.
Ehrhardt said the center has been so successful, with more than 1,800 members, that Broadaway has had to spend most of her time doing administrative work, leaving her little time to do the fundraising that is part of her job. Broadaway said a part-time administrative assistant will be starting at the center, which will take some of that workload off her and give her more time to raise funds for the center.
She also noted that there are no grants that pay salaries.
“We raised on our own $88,000 in one year. I’m just asking for the council to back us for the next two years for $35,000 so we can get on our feet,” Broadaway said.
She pointed out that the first loan from the city was paid back 100 percent.
The council agreed to pay Broadaway’s salary out of the mayor’s fund for one year, but warned it could go back to loan status the following year.
Some councilmen were reluctant to take the loan out of the agreement. Councilman Dave Vinzant, D-4th, moved that Broadaway’s salary be divided in half, with equal amounts paid from the mayor’s budget and the center budget. Vinzant’s motion died.
Councilman Mathew Claussen, D-at large, chairman of the council’s finance committee, said more than $2 million probably will be cut by the state from the proposed budget, perhaps more if the city doesn’t get its excess levy as requested.
He said if the city doesn’t get the excess levy the money will have to come out of somewhere in the budget.
Mayor Brian Snedecor said Claussen’s point is what troubles him as mayor in approving the salary from city funds.
“We hope to get about two-thirds of the money we ask for. The reality is, it’s going to be tight,” Snedecor said.
He said come budget certification time, department heads know there will be cuts across the board.
“We may need to go back and tell you that you’ll have to do fundraising for the rest of the salary,” Snedecor said.