The Burns Harbor
Town Council voted at a recent meeting to give raises to all full-time
employees and all citizen members of Town boards and commissions and
approved a one-time raise for Council members.
Vice-president Eric Hull asked Clerk-treasurer Jane Jordan when Council
members and members of boards and commissions last got raises. Jordan said
all eligible board and commission members were raised within the last six
years, but Council members have been making the same $4,000 per year since
Hull motioned to
raise full-time employees a flat $1,000 in 2020, which equates to about 50
cents per hour. Department heads planned for the raises in budget meetings
earlier this year. Hull’s motion also said citizen members of boards and
commissions should be raised from $500 to $750 per year and Council members
raised from $4,000 to $5,000 per year.
Hull said more
frequent incremental raises are better than a future Council wanting a large
raise, and raising people who serve the Town is a move to entice more
residents to get involved. “We should at least pay for their dinner they’re
gonna miss for a meeting,” Hull said. “My thought is that by having it be
worth someone’s time to come in and participate, then more individuals might
want to come in and participate.”
The Council passed
the 2020 salary ordinance with those changes. Council member Kevin Tracy was
the lone no vote. Tracy said he was in favor of raises for everyone except
the Town Council.
announced they are switching health insurance plans to lower out-of-pocket
costs for employees and costs for the Town. Employees will still have
insurance through Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, but the new plan has a
$2,500 deductible with a $10,000 maximum out-of-pocket cost for the whole
family as opposed to $12,000. Hull said the coverage is better at a slightly
Fire Chief Bill
Arney said the Fire Department is very thankful for donations to its Shop
with a Firefighter program this year. Arney said the BHFD got two generous
donations that totaled over $700 and was able to collect almost $500 is food
vouchers for families in need.
President Kylane Tumblin reminded residents that rentals are available
throughout the winter at Lakeland Park.
approved EMS staff to be paid from CEDIT for November and December.
Jordan reported the
Town’s 2020 budget was approved by the Department of Local Government
Finance as submitted.
decommissioned the BHPD 2015 Ford Explorer that was totaled in a pursuit
last month and approved Police Chief Mike Heckman to order a new vehicle.
approved its 2020 contracts for fire Services, legal services, and
engineering services, and approved the Clerk-treasurer’s 2020 bond. Per
state law, Jordan is bonded $30,000 for every $1 million in revenue the Town
brings in, which equates to $210,000 for 2020.
The Council will
hold a swearing in ceremony at noon on Jan. 1 and is holding off on making
board appointments, reappointing department heads, and reorganizing until
new member Roseann Bozak is sworn in.
Tracy Gives Thanks
In other business,
Tracy made a statement about his time on the Council since his term is
expiring. He decided not to run for reelection in 2019.
Tracy said he was
surprised by the good will and dedication on the Town Council when he
started, and that Jordan was a huge help to him in understanding municipal
government. To Jordan, Tracy said, “You have been awesome. I came in and was
like a deer in the headlights, and you kind of made sure I didn’t get hit by
To his fellow
Council members, Tracy said, “I think we’ve accomplished quite a lot over
the last couple years, and it’s been because you put the Town first. The
next four years in Burns Harbor are going to be really exciting.”
congratulated Council member-elect Roseann Bozak and said she’s joining a