Preliminary budget includes chairman’s plan to double Murphy’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.
“We would like to double her salary,” Winker said. “She 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.
“She shouldn’t be storing stuff for the township.”
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.
“We would then review the salary again in two years,” Winker said.
Supr. Jim Blick agreed that Murphy deserves a raise.
“I think it’s a good number,” he said. “In comparison, it may not be up to snuff, but in lieu of what we have, it’s in line.
“We’re stretched pretty thin right now.”
Winker also said that he, town supervisors Blick and Bill Janeshek, Treasurer
Karen Wolfe and Zoning Administrator Charlie Parks will not be seeking raises.
“I do this because I want to give back to the community,” 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 wouldn’t have to be added to the 2015 budget, she said.
“If everyone uses the compactor in the town, it could make sense to charge for it,” Wolfe said.
Murphy cautioned town officials about a special assessment, saying it normally isn’t a “tool to tax the entire community.”
The budget will be discussed at future meetings.