Cutting Salaries to Balance Budget

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

Since she was elected in 2008, Meridian Township Treasurer Julie Brixie said she's learned how to do more with less.

"Since I was elected, my budget has decreased 17.5 percent, and the township general fund has only decreased 7.5 percent," Brixie said.

In 2009, she even voluntarily asked for a 20 percent pay cut.

"I knew it would be good for the overall health of the township," She said. "To my knowledge, I'm the only township board member to do that."

Brixie feels she's done her part, but the Township Supervisor thinks otherwise.

Susan McGillicuddy and Board Trustee Lynn Ochberg, both declined to comment on-camera Monday, but they said it's high time salaries in the township are reigned in.

Currently, Brixie makes $88,000 including benefits, while Clerk Mary Helmbrecht makes $96,000 with benefits. Both are full-time.

McGillicuddy and Ochberg are proposing slashing both to $15,000 and making them part-time starting in 2012.

McGillicuddy blames declining revenue and state funding, and said communities simply need to get leaner. She adds, both the treasurer and clerk's offices are more or less run by the deputies anyway.

"What do you say to that?" News Ten asked Brixie.

"My deputy has a lot of important jobs to do, but she doesn't run the office," Brixie said.

In comparison, Delhi Township pays it's clerk about $64,000 and its treasurer $23,000.

In Delta Township, the full-time clerk makes $74,000, and the part-time treasurer has a salary of about $15,000.

Brixie said that doesn't count deputies salaries there, and overall both offices spend more. She feels the model in Meridian Township is more efficient and this talk of slashing salaries in simply political.

The township supervisor's proposal is for the 2012 election cycle and beyond, current salaries wouldn't be affected.

The Elected Officials Compensation Commission -- which only meets every two years to discuss local officials' salaries -- met in Meridian Township Monday night to discuss the proposal.


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