CP considers pay raise for employees, elected officials
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent August 29, 2012 9:32PM
Updated: October 1, 2012 5:34PM
CROWN POINT — Elected officials are considering a pay increase or stipend for themselves after five years of no increases.
The City Council in a 2013 budget workshop Wednesday tossed around the idea of stipends, a pay increase or pay for service on committees and boards, which they currently do not receive, if they move forward with $1,000 stipends for all full-time city employees.
Council members agreed the city’s 171 full-time employees should get an up to $1,000 stipend if the city’s 2013 budget is approved as requested. Employees received a 2 percent raise in 2012 and a stipend in 2011 and 2010. The budget also calls for an increased contribution by the city of $3,000 per employee to the city’s self-insurance program.
“We haven’t had a rate increase in 13 years,” Mayor David Uran said.
Councilman Mark Schweitzer, R-At large, said it has been a long time since elected officials have received any type of pay increase and are among the lowest paid council members in the region at $7,023 a year. They also do not receive additional pay for sitting on boards and committees as other city and town council members do. He said he would like officials to look at a way to provide some additional pay by adjusting the line items in their existing budgets without increasing them.
The majority of the council agreed.
“Is it a curse to ask for an increase for the council?” member Robert Clemons, R-2, said. Clemons said he spends about 30 hours a week conducting council business and some form of increase or stipend would not be out of line.
Councilwoman Laura Sauerman, R-4, was the lone voice against the idea, saying an increase at this time would make her uncomfortable. A final decision was not made.
There are few changes to the 2013 budget over 2012 outside of the increased insurance contribution and a mandated 1.75 percent increase to the Public Employees Retirement Fund.
The handful of significant changes in the 2013 budget centered on shifting titles and job responsibilities for some workers in the parks and recreation department and the planning department.
Plans also call for adding three additional officers to the police department if there is money in the approved budget to do so.
In the planning department, director of community development Curt Graves is expected to retire. If Graves does retire, Uran said, his position will be eliminated. Current building administrator Christopher Meyers will become the city’s new planning administrator and the city will hire a replacement for Meyers.
The parks department will be shuffling positions and responsibilities for a savings of about $15,000 a year. A currently unfilled park foreman position at $52,583 a year will become a field manager position for the Sportsplex at $45,000 a year, while the two maintenance coordinators will become laborers. A recreation coordinator position will be eliminated from the general fund and a program director position will be added to the department’s nonreverting fund.