Breitung officials question salary increases

QUINNESEC — The Breitung Township Board agreed Monday to grant the township clerk and township treasurer a 2 percent salary increase despite questions over why their raises were less than one proposed for a male township employee.

Clerk Samantha Neuens and Treasurer Carol Taylor will see their annual salaries rise from $45,675 to $46,588.50, effective Jan. 1.

Resident Rita Luri pointed out minutes from a recent special board meeting showed the board was considering a 5 percent raise for Township Superintendent John Gaudette and a 2 percent raise and extra personal days for Township Department of Public Works Superintendent Guy Forstrom.

The board works for the residents, Luri said, and residents should have a say on how the board handles pay raises.

Although both Neuens and Taylor expressed gratitude for the board’s approval of their 2 percent raises, they questioned the fairness of the move as well.

Neuens said she would have liked a 5 percent raise but was told the board wouldn’t go for it. She said she didn’t understand why, calling the clerk and treasurer positions the “main backbone that keeps the township going.”

The board will have a public hearing on the township’s proposed 2018 budget, which includes salaries, when it next meets Dec. 11, Township Supervisor Denny Olson said.

Final approval of the budget is scheduled for Dec. 27.

In other business, the board:

— Adopted a formal resolution opting out of Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act, meaning no commercial growing, processing or distributing facilities can be in Breitung Township.

Michigan residents Dec. 15 will be able to apply for licenses to operate commercial medical marijuana facilities, but local municipalities have the final say on whether those facilities are allowed within their borders.

Board members last month indicated their disapproval of the matter but decided they needed to take formal action.

— Approved purchasing four aluminum bleachers and three metal mesh picnic tables at a cost of $9,200 for parks and recreation.