Howard board approves compensation for Plan Commission
By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – Starting next month, members of the village’s Plan Commission will receive compensation for attending meetings.
The Howard village board approved an ordinance amendment Monday, March 8, to compensate the citizen members and alternate citizen member $30 for commission meetings attended.
Village President Burt McIntyre said Plan Commission citizen members should be compensated to acknowledge the amount of time they spend preparing for and attending the monthly meetings.
“We have a lot of volunteer committees in the Village of Howard, but there’s no committee that is mandated under state statute and there’s no committee that has the impact that the planning commission has on this body,” he said. “We’ve been very fortunate for many years to have volunteers come forward with no compensation or no expectation of compensation.”
McIntyre said Village Administrator Paul Evert did a survey of Brown County municipalities and discovered there is a mix of ones which compensate or do not compensate committee members.
“We agreed that $30 per meeting would be a reasonable compensation for this (commission),” McIntyre said. “I think it’s a cheap thing for this body to have that kind of input on the business that we have to do.”
The commission holds various public hearings and makes recommendations to the board on matters such as requests for rezoning and conditional use permits which require the board to give final approval.
Commission members are also authorized to give final approval to some matters before them, such as requests to approve site plans.
The village code calls for the commission to consist of the village president, who is the presiding officer, as well as six village citizens and one alternate citizen who serves on the commission whenever a commissioner recuses himself or herself or is otherwise unable to attend.
The village president appoints the citizens members for staggered three-year terms, subject to the village board approval.
Though McIntyre is the commission chair, he said he wouldn’t be receiving the $30 for attending a meeting.
Director of Administrative Services Chris Haltom said commission members who are absent would not receive the $30, which could take effect prior to the April 6 spring election because the members are volunteers and not elected.
Haltom said the effect on the 2021 budget would be a small amount.
The fiscal impact to compensate all of the citizen members of the commission for 12 meetings a year would be $2,520, according to the board meeting staff report.