Public Scrutiny Over Elected Officials’ Salary Hikes – Supervisor In Michigan Township Gets 48 Percent Increase

The approval of salary hikes for Chesterfield Township’s elected officials have some members of the public in the Michigan township upset. Board members officially approved salary increases at the board meeting Monday. The salary increases for the Michigan township officials will be retroactive to the beginning of the year and were approved by a 3-2 vote. The officials’ self-granted salary hikes came after postponing the motion last month. Chesterfield Township is considered part of Metro Detroit, Michigan.

The motion for salary increases was made by Trustee David Joseph, according to the Macomb Daily. While trustees’ actual salaries will remain the same, a stipend of $125 paid to trustees each time they attend required committee and board sessions was reinstated. Treasurer Linda Hartman supported the salary raises; her salary increased by 37 percent from $57,817 to $79,500.

“The raises that were proposed tonight represent a very small fraction of the overall budget…. I believe that we’ll pay for those raises through good government,” Trustee Joseph explained, which prompted one commenter to suggest that that plan has never worked before and then suggest a five percent pay increase every year for the next three years.

Two of the officials were absent from the meeting. Trustee DeMuynck, who opposed the pay hike, suggested that they postpone the vote again until the entire board was present.

“I believe it should be a more nominal increase over time, not jumping right up,” DeMuynck said. “We do report to the taxpayers; they put us here.”

One resident (who ran against the current supervisor in the last election) suggested that any salary hikes go into effect for the next board, not the current board members.

“That way, it will prevent you from looking like you have just reached in the coffer and are taking a handful of money…. I think that would be an honorable thing to consider.”

“This is not a pleasant thing; no one wants to vote themselves a raise, but it’s a necessary thing,” Treasurer Hartman responded. “If that board wants a raise they’re going to have to sit up here and do it just like we have to do it.”

The board members salaries had not seen an increase since 2006, according to the Macomb Daily.

Supervisor Lovelock reminded the board that they were raising the salary for each position itself, not for specific officials. The township supervisor’s salary increased 48 percent up to $89,500. The pay increases raised the Chesterfield Township elected officials’ salaries closer to the salary ranges of officials from nearby Michigan townships.

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