The Town of
Chesterton’s advertised 2019 budget will include 2-percent raises for all
municipal employees, plus targeted adjustments for Street Department
But at least two
Town Council members are also expressing interest in giving themselves
At Monday night’s
council meeting, Member Emerson DeLaney, R-5th, suggested that it may be
time to consider increasing members’ annual stipend, which for the last 20
years at least has remained unchanged, at $4,835, or about $400 per month.
“I think we should
take a look at what is taking place,” DeLaney said, referring to the
compensation which other municipal executive bodies in Duneland and Porter
“I agree 100
percent,” said Member Lloyd Kittredge, R-2nd. “We should look at other towns
and make sure the council is compensated accordingly.” Kittredge added that
the stipends earned by the members of the Town of Chesterton’s various
boards and commissions should also be reviewed.
Member Jim Ton,
R-1st, for his part, wanted his colleagues to be quite sure they understood
what they’re doing. “You’re opening the door, you realize that,” he said.
Ton noted in
particular that not all town councils are created equal, and that not all
town council members have the same responsibilities. The members of the
Porter Town Council, for instance, also serve on the Porter Redevelopment
Commission and Utility Board. “So they’re going to earn more,” he said.
“Apples to apples.”
In any case,
DeLaney did articulate the principle of giving municipal employees a first
crack at raises. “Let’s take care of our people first and see how our budget
comes back (from the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance) and
then enter a study to see where we’re at,” he said.
Members did vote
unanimously to hold a public hearing on the 2019 budget at their next
meeting, 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8.