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Staff pay raises under consideration for 2019 budget

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

ASHWAUBENON – After more than $44,000 worth of pay raises for this year were approved for village staff members, effective July 1, additional pay hikes are being considered as part of the 2019 budget for some of those same staff members, said Village Manager Allison Swanson.

Swanson said the pay increases are in response to a study she conducted earlier this year comparing the salaries of village staff to other municipalities in the state with similar populations.

She said some staff members had informed her they could receive more pay by going elsewhere, and the increases are intended to retain current staff.

Based on the study, Swanson noted an average salary for each non-union position was determined and compared to the salaries in existence prior to July 1 to determine a percentage above or the average.

She said those at or above the average were not eligible for a pay increase July 1, while those below the average could receive one.

According to a list of the July 1 increases obtained by The Press Times, the annual salary hikes included 10 being raised by $6,000 – village attorney ($110,040), finance director ($96,337), public works director ($100,970), parks and recreation director ($81,500), community development director ($77,400), recreation supervisor ($58,777), aquatics supervisor ($53,595), forester ($63,801), Geographic Information Systems coordinator ($61,043) and accountant ($57,500).

Three positions receiving annual salary increases of $5,000 as of July 1 included the village manager ($119,860), information technology manager ($69,406) and building inspector ($63,264).

Other positions receiving annual salary increases included $4,901 for the public works operations supervisor ($80,679), $3,755 for the utility operations supervisor ($70,000), $2,744 for the public safety records manager ($62,525) and $2,000 for the village engineer ($90,000).

Swanson said the village’s two mechanics also received pay increases of 50 cents an hour as of July 1.

Two staff positions determined by Swanson’s study to be above the average and did not receive pay raises as of July 1 included the public safety chief ($103,556) and the zoning administrator/building inspector ($72,814).

Eric Dunning remains as Ashwaubenon’s public safety chief, while the person who held the zoning administrator/building inspector position, Todd Gerbers, left in September to become the director of planning and code compliance for the village of Hobart.

Gerbers will make $82,500 in 2019, said Hobart Village Administrator Aaron Kramer.

Ashwaubenon’s Building Inspection Department has been restructured since the departure of Gerbers and now has two senior building inspectors following the hiring of Kyle Pederson.

Vote on raises

According to a redacted copy of the June 26 Ashwaubenon village board closed session minutes obtained by The Press Times, board members unanimously approved the above-mentioned pay increases.

Those minutes also quote Swanson stating there is a potential surplus for the present budget, which would include various unfilled position salaries as they become available throughout the year, to pay for the increases totaling $44,740 for 2018.

Village President Mary Kardoskee is quoted in the minutes raising concerns about losing staff because of salaries.

“If we lose staff due to salary, the village would have to advertise at a higher rate than what the individual was receiving when they left,” Kardoskee said.

Trustee Mark Williams said he understood the comparables, “but it seems like quite sizeable increases.”

Trustee Gary Paul also expressed concerns in the closed session about the amount of the increases by noting that he “was not keen on the amounts noted in a six-month period.”

Trustee Allison Williams and Michael Malcheski spoke in favor of the pay increases.

“If you want to keep people, you have to make them happy,” Malcheski said.

2019 raises

Swanson noted non-union employees who score high enough on their annual performance reviews would be eligible for cost-of-living increases next year,

She said staff yet to have reached the average salary as determined in the study could receive additional pay increases.

According to the list she provided to The Press Times, those positions being considered for additional pay hikes in 2019 include the village manager, village attorney, finance director, public works director, parks and recreation director, community development director, IT manager, recreation supervisor, aquatics supervisor, forester, GIS coordinator and accountant.

Swanson said the 2019 budget will be considered Nov. 13 at a joint meeting of the village board and Finance and Personnel Committee.

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