Chesterton Tribune

 

 

DeLaney and Kittredge open the door to raises for Town Council members

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By KEVIN NEVERS

The Town of Chesterton’s advertised 2019 budget will include 2-percent raises for all municipal employees, plus targeted adjustments for Street Department employees.

But at least two Town Council members are also expressing interest in giving themselves raises.

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 County receive.

“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.

 

Posted 9/25/2018

 
 
 
 

 

 

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