Preliminary budget includes chairmanâ€™s plan to double Murphyâ€™s pay
Town of Belgium officials got a first look at the 2015 budget Tuesday night.
Preliminary figures call for a 6% to 8% tax hike to help pay for a new recycling compactor and a raise for the town clerk, among other items.
Town Clerk Ginger Murphy is paid just under $12,000 per year, a number that is far too low, Town Chairman Tom Winker said.
â€śWe would like to double her salary,â€ť Winker said. â€śShe is vastly underpaid at this point. Until we get a new town hall, she has to cart the election machines around and store them in her house.
â€śShe shouldnâ€™t be storing stuff for the township.â€ť
The Town Board plans to pay
Murphy $24,000 a year. Winker said that would still be less than what clerks in the southern part of Ozaukee County make.
â€śWe would then review the salary again in two years,â€ť Winker said.
Supr. Jim Blick agreed that Murphy deserves a raise.
â€śI think itâ€™s a good number,â€ť he said. â€śIn comparison, it may not be up to snuff, but in lieu of what we have, itâ€™s in line.
â€śWeâ€™re stretched pretty thin right now.â€ť
Winker also said that he, town supervisors Blick and Bill Janeshek, Treasurer
Karen Wolfe and Zoning Administrator Charlie Parks will not be seeking raises.
â€śI do this because I want to give back to the community,â€ť Winker said.
The town has an agreement to purchase the recycling compactor from Advanced Disposal for $8,000 and has to pay another $10,500 for a pad and bin, Janeshek said.
Including a $12,000 salary raise for
Murphy, about $18,000 for the compactor and $10,000 for a new town hall fund, the 2015 budget could increase by as much as $40,000, meaning a tax hike of 6% to 8%.
Wolfe said she will look into the possibility of a special assessment for the compactor.
With about 780 taxpayers in the town, a special assessment would cost about $23 per household, Wolfe said.
Then those items wouldnâ€™t have to be added to the 2015 budget, she said.
â€śIf everyone uses the compactor in the town, it could make sense to charge for it,â€ť Wolfe said.
Murphy cautioned town officials about a special assessment, saying it normally isnâ€™t a â€śtool to tax the entire community.â€ť
The budget will be discussed at future meetings.