Some Blackman Township Officials Angered By Pay Raise, Petitioning to Overturn

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A battle is brewing in Blackman Township over recent salary increases given to three elected officials there.

The raises, approved by the township board earlier this month, quadruple the pay for the townships clerk, supervisor, and treasurer positions.

The treasurer and clerk positions would increase from $12,600 per year to $49,260, while the township supervisor position would increase from $24,000 to $49,260.

Both the clerk and treasurer, two positions in line for the raise, voted against the resolution.

"I told the people of our township I'd do the job for $12,600 a year and that's what I want to be paid," said David Sercombe, township clerk.

But trustee Betty Brockie, who supported the resolution, argues the jobs deserve better pay than $12,600 a year given the workload and time put in.

"I cannot ask people to work for that kind of a wage," she said. "When you are in elected office you are on duty 24-7... would you be willing to have $29 million of your investments managed by a $12,600 a year person?"

Sercombe, alongside former township officials Ray Snell and Kevin Bowman, see things differently which is why they're heading up the group "Better Blackman" to put a referendum on the August ballot to overturn the raises.

"When you raise someone's salary up 400 percent, you better have a good reason why that's happening and we just haven't heard any," Snell said.

Sercombe said the resolution was not on the original agenda and had never been discussed at previous meetings.

"I'm not against talking about increases, but not of this magnitude and the way it was done," he said. "I feel the residents of this township were robbed with this increase."

Brockie contends though it's a topic which has been discussed several times and shouldn't have come as a surprise to anyone involved.

"It was put through the proper channels, they've known about it for a long time and did nothing," she said. "We did everything perfectly legally."

The group has about 20 days left to collect the 1,500 signatures needed to get a referendum on the ballot.

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