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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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City Personnel Committee Discusses Pay Increases

Issue Date: October 21, 2021

The City of Peshtigo Personnel Committee meeting was held Thursday, Oct. 14. The main focus was to discuss the vacation carryover policy, 2022 salary and wage schedule, benefits and attorney fees.

Mayor Cathi Malke stated, "Just to let everyone know, Attorney Spangenberg is over 10 hours per per month on what he is doing for the City of Peshtigo versus what he gets paid for. If we want to keep him we will have to increase his pay because he is devoting a lot of hours that he is not getting paid for. If for instance, he would say I am holding you to your 16 hours for the month, we will have to get a different attorney and that could be costly".

Questions were asked as to what the percentage of Spangenberg's focus is on UDAG, Water and Sewer or whatever else. Malke replied "Right now I would say the majority of his time is Water and Sewer related, but there are also city officials and alderpersons calling him. Right now, any Alderman wanting to call the attorney needs to go through me because he is so far over on his time. Spangenberg has told me that several people are calling him direct and that has to stop".

Malke suggested to raise him on Water and Sewer and UDAG since that is where most of his work is going to. Clerk Tammy Kasal replied, "We could decide on an amount and talk to him and see what percentage it is to break it down, what he deserves on a whole as to what we can afford. Just look at that bottom number, the $49,313.39 and can adjust those percentages and discuss at finance".

Malke replied, I am just saying that, because I would hate for us to have to hire another Attorney to cover what he can't get to. All of his work he is doing for us is cutting into his private practice and he is losing funds. His UDAG hours will be increasing because I am going after property that has not been utilized so his hours will increase and that will consume a lot of his time". After further discussion it was agreed upon to raise Attorney Spangenberg's salary from $49,313.39 to $54,315.

The next discussion was the wage for Clerk Treasurer Tammy Kasal. Malke stated, "Another one I am speaking up for because, I see day in and day out all the extra hours she puts in and she was told from the get go for the additional pay she would get and hasn't seen any of that. When Kasal was hired she gave up 5 weeks of vacation. She has three weeks at present and I would like to add another week vacation as well, not that she will use it because she cancels vacation time now with her workload with Alderpersons throwing in meetings last minute and having to rearrange her schedule to accommodate their meetings. I would ask of the Alderman to set their committee meetings consistently on the same time frame every month to make it easier for planning purposes". After further discussion it was agreed to increase Kasal's vacation time to 4 weeks and her salary from $56,100 to $58,000.

Malke also spoke for Parks and Rec Director Lori Tonn, "She also gave up several weeks vacation to come here and the amount of hours she is putting into our City and the direction she is taking us on how beautiful the City is looking, and that is right up my alley because I am right up there too. I have been accused on Facebook of of wanting the City to look good. That is so true!, but I think most people would agree we live in a city they can be proud of. I can't give enough thanks to ALL of our volunteers. I would entertain at least a 3% increase and two more weeks of vacation because she gave up a lot to come here. I just hope we keep her and I see good things coming to Peshtigo with her being here. It was decided to give Tonn three weeks vacation and increase her salary from $40,500 to $43,000 including the promised $500 at six months and an additional $500 on top of that".

Other salary increases include: Election Inspectors stayed the same at $10.75 per hour; Office Clerk from $15.61 per hour to $15.92 per hour; Deputy Clerk Treasurer Part Time from $17.65 per hour to $18 per hour; Director of Public Works from $81,500 to $83,130; Clerk of Courts from $3,500 to $3,570; UDAG, Plan Commission, Board of Appeals, Ethics Committee and Police Disciplinary Review Committee stayed at $30 per meeting; Water and Sewer Committee was increased from $70 per meeting to $80 per meeting; Police Chief stayed the same due to a prior recent increase; Lieutenant from $27.34 to $27.89 per hour; Part-time Patrolman from $22.25 to $25.00 per hour; School Crossing Guard from $11.50 to $12 per hour; Poundmaster Dog/Cat $55/$30 Wild Animals $40 each per call, all stayed the same; First Assistant Fire Chief salary from $925 per year to $945 per year; Second Assistant Fire Chief salary from $465 to $475 per year; Head Truck Driver $1,155 to 1,180; Fireman from $21.60 per fire to $22 per fire; Fireman $10.80 per meeting to $11 per meeting along with $10.80 per hour after 2nd hour of firefighting and extra duty.

Other expenses that stayed the same include: Mayor Yearly Expenses at $16,500 per year and Mayors Budget for miscellaneous functions at $2,000 per year; Council Members, $2,000 per year plus $30 per meeting; Committee Meetings, $30 per Special Council meetings; Seminars and Workshops, $30 per each along with expense allowance per day of $25 per month and Board of Review $50 per meeting.

Hourly wages that remained the same include: Park Labor and Aides, Adults, Buildings and Grounds, Weed Harvester Operator/ Grass Cutter (Adult) and Certified Instructors, all stay at $12 per hour; Student Park Labor, Swimming Beach Managers-Lifeguards, Activity Assistants and Student Activity Assistants all stay at $9 per hour; Activity Directors, $10.50 per hour; Park Watchman, $11 per hour; DPW Summer Part-time and DPW Adult part-time, both at $15.40 per hour.

Malke added, "Up to this point the Fire Chief did not get paid per call and I feel that he should get per hour/ per call pay plus his salary should be raised as well with all the extra work he does. It was determined that Fire Chief Chuck Gardon's salary should go from $5,950 to $6,070 and he will also get per hour pay of $11.00 per hour per fire call and per meeting".

The final discussion was vacation carryover policy. At present employees can carry over up to 40 hours of vacation per Department head approval at the rate of pay it was earned. Public Works Director George Cowell commented, "I am not in favor for my department to carry over vacation time. Adding another nine weeks of additional vacation to a given year it is something else you have to manage as a person managing that department. I can tell you right now, I am not going to grant it. My thought is when you get vacation, you need to take vacation and not get paid out.

Vacations are given for people to take them to take a break from their work and they need to take those breaks. I know we have people paid out in the past but I don't believe in paying them out. Paying them out actually affects the budget because now you have to pay that extra salary that you haven't had in the budget.

Kasal echoed Cowell's thoughts saying, "If I have a request I would suggest not do it, if I have to do it I will do it".

Alderman John Behrendt commented, "This boils down to taking a big vacation for a week and a half but you only have two weeks, so if I save 20 hours from this year than I can still have those 20 hours to be able to do other things with that remaining vacation carryover time for next year. I understand the guys want this and I understand Cowells concern, but at the end of the day he gets to make the final approval". In the end it was approved to allow carryover of 40 hours vacation per year.


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