The Town of
Chesterton’s 2016 Salary Ordinance is now on the books, and its passage this
year is notable for the sheer amount of discussion it’s occasioned.
Two weeks ago, Town
Council Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, cautioned his colleagues against
enacting in the Salary Ordinance a 4-percent raise for all municipal
employees to take effect Jan. 1, on the ground that the Indiana Department
of Local Government Finance (DLGF) could, some months later, hew and hack
its way through the town’s budget--because that’s how DLGF rolls--leaving
department heads scrambling to make ends meet.
opposing a raise at all and made it clear at the time that the council could
easily amend the 2016 Salary Ordinance after DLGF certifies the budget in
late winter or early spring. He was simply suggesting a wait-and-see
approach to the town’s finances.
Two weeks later, at
the council’s meeting on Monday, DeLaney’s concerns appear to have eased,
because when the Salary Ordinance came up for a formal vote--with the
4-percent raise codified in it--he cast his Yea with everyone else.
This time, however,
Member Jim Ton, R-1st, had a little problem with it: the Stormwater
Management Board’s unanimous request for a $1,500 annual stipend for each
member. For Ton the question wasn’t whether the Stormwater Management
Board’s three members deserve a stipend but rather how much they deserve.
Ton’s opinion: they should receive the same stipend as the do the members of
the Advisory Plan Commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and Police
DeLaney and Member
Sharon Darnell, D-4th, both pointed to the fact, however, that the
Stormwater Management Board is responsible for the Stormwater Utility’s
sizable budget--with projected revenues in 2016 of nearly $450,000 and
expenses of just about the same--while the Plan Commission, BZA, and Police
Commission have no budgets of their own at all. For the same reason, DeLaney
and Darnell said, the members of the Utility Service Board--with an annual
budget in the millions--earn an annual stipend of $3,033.
Ton wanted to know
specifically that DeLaney was comfortable with the requested $1,500 stipend.
DeLaney said he was. And that was good enough for Ton, who made the vote for
the 2016 Salary Ordinance unanimous.
The salaries and
stipends of elected and appointed officials and department heads:
* Town Manager:
* Police Chief:
* Fire Chief:
Commissioner: $54,125. The Street Commissioner will also earn $17,854 as MS4
* Attorney: an
hourly rate of $150 for all counsel over and above the retainer of $12,657.
The Utility will also pay the Town Attorney a retainer of $11,000.
* Town Council
* Plan Commission
* Board of Zoning
Appeals member: $1,320.
* Police Commission
* Utility Service
Board member: $3,033.
* Park Board
Management Board member: $1,500.
Superintendent: $69,420. The MS4 Superintendent will also earn $5,410 as
Town Engineer, $11,432 as Economic Development Engineer, and $18,079 as
* MS4 Operator I:
$24.96 per hour.
municipal employees will also earn a longevity bonus of $125 per full year