Liberty trustees tighten 2018 appropriations

The Delaware County Budget Commission certified Liberty Township’s estimated resources for 2018 to be $19.6 million.

Fiscal Officer Nancy Denutte estimated the township’s appropriations for the coming year to be $13.4 million.

The Ohio Revised Code “requires that on or about the first day of each fiscal year, the fiscal officer of each subdivision and other taxing units shall certify to the county auditor the total amount from all sources available for expenditures from each fund set up in the tax budget.”

After some debate, trustees eventually approved the estimated resources as presented and approved the estimated appropriations after adjusting the salary for the assistant fiscal officer.

When the motion was made for the approval of the estimated appropriations, Trustee Shyra Eichhorn expressed some concerns with the salary for the assistant fiscal officer’s position.

“I just think that’s too much money for that position for what it entails,” said Eichhorn.

According to the documents contained in the resolution, the assistant fiscal officer was scheduled to be paid $56,000 in the coming year. The fiscal officer, which is an elected position, is paid $31,500 per year, according to documents included with the resolution.

When Trustee Melanie Leneghan called for a vote on the motion, Eichhorn voted no, while Leneghan voted yes. Trustee Tom Mitchell did not attend the meeting. He was recovering from surgery, Eichorn said.

“Since we have to get this to the county, do you want to pass it with a change?” Leneghan asked. “There’s a statute, that we are creatures of, that is we have to provide them something.”

Eichhorn said if the line item containing the salary of the assistant fiscal officer was decreased, she had no problem with passing the resolution.

Leneghan asked Eichhorn what she thought the salary should be decreased. Eichhorn said she would like to decrease it to a part-time position.

“The bills won’t get paid,” Denutte said. “I had a conversation with Orange (Township officials) and Orange said, ‘I can’t believe this job is being done by one part-time person.’”

“If you’re saying if we can’t change that one line and that you’re not willing to pay paychecks if that one line is not in there, that’s not on me,” Eichhorn told Denutte. “I’m more than happy to pass this if we take out that one line and vote on that one line Jan. 2.”

Eichhorn said the question was how the job was being done.

“All I can do is make sure the tax dollars are being spent wisely,” Eichhorn said. “I don’t feel they are in the assistant fiscal officer’s role.”

After some number crunching, Leneghan withdrew the original motion and then moved to approve the resolution “with a change in the assistant fiscal officer line from $54,000 to $36,000.”

Before moving on to other business, Leneghan said, “Just a note that everyone knows, all appropriations are subject to change.”

Trustees will meet on Jan. 2 at 7 p.m. Newly-elected trustee Mike Gemperline will be sworn in during that meeting.

By D. Anthony Botkin

[email protected]

D. Anthony Botkin may be reached at 740-413-0902 or on Twitter @dabotkin.