2018-03-22 / Local News

Cleveland considers pay raises

Cleveland Township Annual Meeting
By Eric Carlson
Of The Enterprise staff

Cleveland Township voters in attendance at the township’s annual meeting on Saturday morning will be asked to consider giving 5 percent pay raises to their township supervisor and treasurer.

Supervisor Tim Stein noted that voters in attendance at previous annual meetings made it clear they wanted their elected officials to be paid on a par with officials in other similarly-sized townships in Michigan.

Earlier this year, Stein used an online tool available through the Michigan Townships Association that revealed that supervisors of townships with the same characteristics as Cleveland Township earn $12,500 per year while he is paid $11,176. Similarly, the median salary for a treasurer in a similar township is $15,600 while Cleveland currently pays only $14,732.

Last year, the Township Board recommended no pay raises for themselves, but voters in attendance at the meeting insisted on giving each of them a 1.6 percent “cost of living raise” even though the two trustees and the clerk were already receiving pay commensurate with other similar townships.

If approved Saturday, this year’s salary resolutions would raise the supervisor’s annual salary to $11,750 and the treasurer’s to $15,450.

Those figures have already been written into a draft budget for the new fiscal year beginning April 1 that will be the subject of a separate budget hearing on Saturday morning.

Stein explained that the budget calls for a significant drawdown of a long-running budget surplus. The surplus resulted from unexpended road improvement funds and the overlap of an old fire and rescue millage with a new millage approved last year by voters to support the new four-township Cedar Area Fire & Rescue Department.

The general fund budget for fiscal 2018-2019 anticipates $497,373 in expenses and just $246,545 in revenue. Even with expenses outstripping revenues, a fund balance at the end of the coming fiscal year will leave an estimated $189,448 in reserve in township coffers.

Part of the drawdown will come from a $125,000 “match” the township will provide for a federally grant-funded $350,000 project to improve County Road 669 including the replacement of a Shalda Creek culvert under the road that helps drain Little Traverse Lake. Leelanau County Road Commission managing director Dan Wagner is slated to present a briefing on the project at Saturday’s meeting.

Another major portion of the budget drawdown will include a $216,445 appropriation for the Cedar Area Fire & Rescue Department. The department will be acquiring new capital items including another new ambulance as it provides upgraded emergency medical services in response to demand from voters in its four-township service area. Department Chief Chris Comeaux is slated to present a briefing Saturday as well.

Those in attendance at Saturday’s meeting will also hear an annual report on activities of the township’s Planning Commission. In the past year, township planners completed work on a new Master Plan which the township has adopted and are continuing their review of the township Zoning Ordinance.

When: 10 a.m. Saturday

Where: Cleveland Township Hall, 955 W. Harbor Highway (M-22).

You’ll hear about: New fire & rescue department capabilities and federal funds to improve Little Traverse Lake drainage under Bohemian Road (County Road 669).

Are raises proposed? Yes, about 5 percent for the supervisor and treasurer as recommended by voters at prior Annual Meetings.

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