“Just a note so that everyone knows, all appropriations are subject to change,” were the final words from Liberty Township Trustee Melanie Leneghan during the trustees’ last meeting of 2018.
That held true Tuesday evening with a unanimous vote by trustees to approve a permanent appropriation amendment raising the salary of the assistant fiscal officer from $36,000 per year to $54,000 per year.
In the Dec. 18 meeting, Trustee Shyra Eichhorn said she had concerns with the proposed salary for the assistant fiscal officer’s position and then became locked in a debate with the township’s fiscal officer, Nancey Denutte, over the matter.
When Leneghan called for a vote on the motion, Eichhorn voted no, Leneghan voted yes, which created a stalemate.
Trustee Tom Mitchell wasn’t in attendance at the meeting to break the stalemate because he was recovering from surgery, according to Eichorn.
According to documents contained in the original resolution of Dec. 18, 2017, the assistant fiscal officer was to be paid $54,000 in 2018 while the fiscal officer, an elected official, was to be paid $31,500 per year.
Eichhorn questioned the job being done and said if the line item containing the assistant fiscal officer salary was decreased she would have no problem passing the resolution.
“I just think that’s too much money for that position for what it entails,” she said at the time.
After crunching numbers, Leneghan withdrew the original motion and moved to approve the resolution “with a change in the assistant fiscal officer line from $54,000 to $36,000.”
Both trustees approved the new resolution with the reduction to the assistant fiscal officer’s salary.
When trustees met Tuesday night in their first session of the new year, they were presented with a resolution titled 2018 permanent appropriation amendment one. Attached to the resolution was the “2018 appropriations resolution revised” which increased the assistant fiscal officer’s salary from the $36,000 per year to $54,000 per year.
There was no comment about the resolution, not even from Eichhorn who voted against compensating the assistant fiscal officer $54,000 per year during the Dec. 18 meeting.
When asked by The Gazette after the meeting about her change of mind to vote in favor of the resolution, Eichhorn didn’t have any comment on the matter.
To date, the Delaware County Budget Commission certified Liberty Township’s estimated resources for 2018 to be $19.6 million with Fiscal Officer Nancy Denutte estimating the township’s appropriations for 2018 at $13.4 million.
In other business, Leneghan and Eichhorn welcomed the township’s newest trustee Mike Gemperline and reorganized the board.
Gemperline nominated Leneghan as chairman of the trustees for the second consecutive year. She received unanimous support from her fellow trustees to remain in the position.
Trustees established the salaries and method of compensation for themselves and the fiscal officer according to the Ohio Revised Code. According to the 2018 appropriations approved Tuesday evening, trustees will receive a total combined salary of $68,100 and the fiscal officer’s salary will be $31,500 in 2018.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.