Fayette village council 3.18.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Council member pay—cut it or keep it?

Fayette council members voted in December to help cut costs by slashing their pay, but they soon learned it wasn’t that easy.

Instead, an ordinance was needed to make the change and it wouldn’t take effect until new council members were elected in November.

A pay ordinance is working its way through council that calls for the mayor’s pay to drop from $2,500 to $500 annually and councilor’s pay from $1,000 to $500.

Council heard the first reading of the ordinance Thursday.

Council member Ruth Marlatt said she favored the proposal initially but she’s having second thoughts.

She noted there are five council terms set to expire in November. With the tough economic times, the full pay might serve as an incentive for some people to serve on council.

Fayette’s pay is already the lowest of any community in Fulton and Williams counties, Marlatt said, which suggests that not much value is placed on serving.

“It looks like we don’t stand for much,” she said.

Councilor Jerry Gonzales disagreed, suggesting that “it says a heck of lot.”

Monetary gain isn’t supposed to be part of serving in local government, he said, and Fayette can lead by example. If someone is running for $500 or $1,000, they probably have the wrong intent, he added.

Ken Delphous said he thought the position was voluntary and he was surprised when he received his first check.

Acting mayor Craig Rower thought the pay cut was already figured into the 2009 budget and asked what services would be cut in order to maintain pay at the current level. Village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver pointed out that the cuts—which wouldn’t take effect until January 2010—were not part of the budget.

Marlatt suggested that council members as a group could vote to donate their pay for a particular need, if they wanted to give it up. She pointed to the door of the council chambers and said that a new door could be purchased to replace the rusting one.

If council members did choose to donate their pay back to the village, Metz said that council would have to vote to accept the money for placement in a specified fund.

CURBING—Council voted 4-2, with Delphous and Gonzales opposed, to pay the Ohio Department of Transportation $14,250 for remaining costs from the 2007 rebuilding of S. Fayette Street.

Council has been reluctant to pay the bill for months, but an approved change order from the project was recently found.

Engineering from the project covered the cost of new curbing set back to make a wider street, but it neglected the cost of moving catch basins. Neither the engineering firm (Arcadis) nor ODOT saw the mistake before construction began.

Former administrator Tom Spiess, who explained the engineering error, noted the project cost came in below the estimate provided by ODOT...

(Buy an on-line subscription for full article)

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016