Perry Township Board Meeting Minutes: October 13, 2016
The meeting is called to order at 4:15 pm
Members Present: Barb Sturbaum, Susie Hamilton, Jack Davis
Non-Members Present: Sharon Yoder, Novella Shuck, kevin Robling
- Awarding of Community Grants
- Approval/Acceptance of 2017 Budget
- Township Form 17
Awarding of Community Grants
The Board discussed in the previous meeting that they agreed with Dan’s recommendations for community grants. Sharon asked if the Board wanted to change anything about the Stepping Stones grant because they did announce they were merging with Centerstone. The Board said to keep the original recommendation. Barb moves that the Board accepts the grant recommendations officially. Susie seconds the motion and all vote “Aye.”
Prior to the board meeting, Sharon and Kevin met to discuss the legal status and implications surrounding the PERF refund that the Township is receiving. As a review, the Township is receiving this refund because it had been paying PERF on behalf of Dan’s PERF retirement fund. However, earlier this year it was discovered that when Dan retired from his teaching job at MCCSC and started receiving his TERF (teacher’s retirement), these PERF payments should have stopped, since one cannot receive both TERF and PERF, as they are both public retirement funds. When Dan retired from teaching and filled out paperwork for that, he retired in full in the eyes of PERF. Because TERF has a higher retirement benefit that his PERF currently, if he had to choose between the two retirement funds, he would have still chosen TERF, but he and the Township did not understand that at the time, which is why they continued to pay into his PERF fund even after his teaching retirement. When PERF finally contacted our office and told us to stop paying into PERF for Dan, the Township had already paid $10,000 on his behalf. PERF will not refund that money to the Township but they will credit to future Township PERF payments for other employees. In the meantime that is $10,000 in the budget that can be diverted and is essentially the PERF refund amount.
Barb asks if the Township could just give the $10,000 to Dan from the Township for the retirement payments paid on his behalf, since he will not get PERF when he eventually retires (something he had planned on). Sharon states it is Dan’s belief that this money is owed to him in some form. Kevin states that ultimately the Township could credit him that amount, but the Board can’t just write him a check for that account, as that would be the Township paying him more than his salary. However, the Board could increase his salary to get that income to him eventually. Right now he is the lowest paid Trustee of comparable surrounding Townships, since he has for many years declined salary raises.
The PERF payments were not taken out of Dan’s check, since the Township pays both the employer and employee portions, so this income would not ever legally have belonged to him until he received it in retirement payments. This error was PERF’s fault, but regardless, in Kevin’s legal opinion, because the Township improperly paid out the income it is the Township who should receive those funds back legally, not Dan. HOWEVER, Kevin recommends that the Board still consider raising the Trustee’s salary for the good of the Township because his current salary is so low and his value as a long-serving Trustee is much higher. A salary raise could also be considered as a way to compensate for the loss of these expected funds for Dan’s retirement.
Discussion is held on what the Township should do with these funds, including whether or not to raise Dan’s salary, and if so by how much. It is established that Dan’s salary should be raised, but disagreement on the amount. Dan was previously slated to receive the same 2.8% cost-of-living increase as everyone else at the Township. Sharon states that the bottom line of the budget is published, so the Board cannot change that but can make changes to the inner details of the budget, like salaries. Tonight is the last chance to make those changes, though.
Susie moves that the Board increase Dan’s salary by $2,000 to $36,733. There is no second. Barb moves they increase his salary to $40,000 in 2017, with the intent to revisit the salary in the 2018 budget. There is no second.
Barb motions that the Board increase Dan’s salary to $39,000, with the intent to review the issue again next year. Jack seconds this motion. The board votes and the motion passes with Barb and Jack voting “Aye” and Susie voting “Nay.”
Kevin states the Board still needs to make a motion and vote if they intend to increase the other employee’s salaries by 2.8%, since they also voted on Dan’s salary. Barb motions that the Board approves the 2.8% salary increase for the other employees. Jack seconds the motion and all vote “Aye.”
Approval/Acceptance of 2017 Budget
The Board did not have any issues with or changes to the budget other than Dan’s salary. Barb motions that the Board accepts the budget. Jack seconds the motion and all vote “Aye.”
Township Form 17
Sharon asks the Board if they are okay with stopping by the office tomorrow 10/14/16 to sign the Township Form 17, so she can update Dan’s salary and put it on a separate form from the rest of the employees. They indicate that they are fine with that and will stop by the next day to do that.
Barb adjourned the meeting at 5:22pm.