Thursday, January 7, 2021

Sumpter trustees revise deputy supervisor position

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees approved several employment positions and salaries while revising another during a recent Zoom meeting Dec. 15.

Many of the employment specifics were not without controversy or opposition by one or more members of the board. 

Ken Bednark, the previous township treasurer, was named as deputy supervisor, a position limited by the board members to less than 20-hours per week at an annual salary of $8,406, without benefits. Bednark, while treasurer, missed more than a year of meetings while continuing to collect his $19,000 annual salary.

Supervisor Tim Bowman and Trustee Peggy Morgan both cast no votes on the motion to alter the position to part time, as Bowman had already named Bednark to the job and the former treasurer had been sworn in as deputy supervisor.

Morgan called the change from a full-time deputy supervisor to the 20-hour limit “ridiculous.” She claimed the action was “about the person and not the position.” Trustee Don LaPorte disputed Morgan's accusation that the action was personal and said he had never been in support of a full-time deputy supervisor. He also noted that the pay rate was commensurate with the amount paid to elected trustees.

Morgan continued to argue that the revisions to the position were based on Bednark's previous interaction with the board and insisted that the former deputy supervisor, Karen Armatis, was paid $32 per hour.

Bowman read a statement claiming that because he is new to the position he needs a full-time deputy who receives full-pay with benefits.  

Morgan insisted that Bowman was being “short changed” and proposed that Bednark as deputy supervisor, should be paid at the same rate as newly-appointed deputy treasurer Toni Clark, who was named to the job by her husband, James Clark.  Later in the meeting, Clark's position was approved as full-time or 40 hours per week at a rate of $25.08 per hour, along with full benefits. She is also eligible for overtime as approved by the her husband. Morgan cast the lone no vote on Clark's job description and pay rate. 

Bowman and Morgan also cast no votes on the full-time deputy clerk position at 40 hours at $25.08 hourly with overtime as approved by the clerk, and full benefits but without medical reimbursement. The board members then approved another motion for a pay increase for deputy clerk Antony Burdick from the approved $25.08 to $27.08 to correct scheduled pay increases that had been missed since his appointment to the job in 2018. 

Bowman and Morgan again cast the only two dissenting votes.