Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Sumpter board revokes medical payments for officials

Beginning next month, Sumpter Township officials will no longer be reimbursed for medical benefit payments.
Members of the board of trustees voted unanimously at the Nov. 12 meeting to eliminate the benefit effective Dec. 1. Trustee Don Swinson was absent from the meeting.
There was no change to the basic compensation schedule for the officials despite a proposal for a base salary raise presented by Trustee Matthew Oddy which included the elimination of the medical benefit. Oddy said his proposal would have saved the township $10,104.57 annually.

Currently Supervisor John Morgan is paid $22,418.70; Clerk Esther Hurst and Treasurer Ken Bednark are each paid $18,830.68 and each trustee is paid $8,322. Oddy proposed increasing trustees' annual pay to $18,650; the supervisor to $32,000 and the clerk and treasurer to $28,000 each. Oddy said that the current salary schedule has been in place for nearly two decades.
Bednark was critical of Oddy's plan and claimed that the current medical reimbursements  “a windfall” and in Oddy's case were almost “double his base pay.”
Bednark said the proposal was ill-founded and had not been discussed with the board.
“We need to be fiscally responsible,” Bednark said. He added that information he received from the Michigan Townships Association indicated that some township trustees are paid $40 a meeting and some “barely pay anything.”
After some discussion, the board agreed to a compromise and removed the medical reimbursement from the compensation package but did not include any raise in base pay.