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Published: Wednesday, 12/6/2006

Village workers get raise and bonus

BY ERIKA RAY
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Most Elmore village employees will see a boost in their annual salaries next year along with end-of-the-year bonuses this year.

But no employee will receive longevity pay or reimbursement for accrued sick time upon retirement, as councilmen were split on those two measures at last week's Elmore Village Council meeting.

At the meeting, council unanimously approved giving the 26 village employees a 2 percent across-the-board pay increase next year along with a retroactive 1 percent bonus on each employee's salary this year, Councilman Rick Claar said.

He said employees' new salary schedule will begin on Jan. 1, but they'll receive the bonuses before the end of the year just in time to start paying off holiday debt.

They're receiving a bonus because Mayor Lowell Krumnow promised at the beginning of the year that he'd give it to them if the village's financial situation remained stable throughout the year.

With the raises, the village's highest-paid salaried employee - village Superintendent Buck Stoiber - will make $53,081 next year.

Village employees have received a 2 percent salary increase each year for two years.

But just three councilmen felt that all full-time employees should be rewarded with a small pay increase for sticking with their village jobs for a long period of time.

Councilmen Mark Koenig, Tom Deitemyer, and Chris Crozier voted against the measure that would give employees less than a 1 percent raise on top of any across-the-board raises that council grants for its other village employees.

Mr. Koenig said he voted against the measure because people who work for a small village are not there for the money - they're most likely happy with their jobs and like the stability that comes with them.

"We're a small village, so we don't have a huge income," he said. "Giving them a very, very small longevity pay isn't going to keep your long-term employee anyway."

The amount of the raise was set to slightly increase at the beginning of every decade a person remains employed with the village.

But because three councilmen also voted for the measure, Mr. Krumnow was able to break the tie, and voted against it, saying he wanted the issue to be further discussed in a committee meeting.

The mayor also broke the tie and voted against the measure that would allow retiring employees to be reimbursed for some unused sick time they have accumulated over their years of village employment.

Mr. Koenig, Mr. Deitemyer, and Councilman Matt Damschroder also voted no on that measure.

"The way I look at it, sick leave is a true benefit," Mr. Koenig said.

"The idea that you can continue to accumulate it up to over 120 days really safeguards you in case of a major illness or a major accident so you don't have to worry about losing your job," he said.

"Why should we pay you extra if you didn't use it?"



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