Meridian Township board receives pay raise

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By Isabella Shaya
Meridian Times staff writer
Meridian Township

After about four years without a raise, Meridian Township Treasurer Julie Brixie now sees her salary restored to that of the clerk’s.

In 2009, Brixie took a voluntary 20 percent pay cut during hard financial times. From 2008-2012, Brixie said she saved the township more than $50,000.

The board discussed pay increases for elected officials at its meeting March 19, but the Local Officials Compensation Commission made the final decision on salaries.

The part-time members of the board received a 2 percent pay increase, which is what township employees received.

Trustee Angela Wilson was opposed to any raise of more than 2 percent, but said she was happy to see the treasurer’s salary equal the clerk’s.

“(Brixie) was trying to do the right thing,” Wilson said.

Brixie wrote a letter to the board, asking to have her salary match the clerk’s because the positions are comparable. While her salary has not increased over the years, her workload has, she said.

Brixie received a 14.4 percent pay increase to match the clerk’s salary, but it’s not the same salary she had in 2008. Brixie said she works more than 40 hours per week.

“The biggest good news about this is that the financial health of the township is improving, and that’s good for everybody,” Brixie said.

Township clerk Brett Dreyfus also wrote a letter asking that his salary, currently $65,000, be returned to what it was in 2012, which was $75,932.

Dreyfus received a 6.9 percent raise this year and 2 percent more next year, not matching his request, but more than the 2 percent most of the staff received.

The Local Officials Compensation Commission did a salary study comparing other communities to Meridian Township, and found the clerk and treasurer were underpaid compared to their peers, Brixie said.

Township supervisor Elizabeth LeGoff said she was against any salary increases above 2 percent, including the treasurer’s and clerk’s.

“I did not think the treasurer should be getting a large raise at this time,” LeGoff said. “We don’t really deserve a raise.”

Trustee Milton Scales said he also was in support of the pay increases not exceeding 2 percent, which is what he received for his part-time job.

Scales’ raise is so small, about $200, it caused him to laugh out loud.

“What I do think is important is that we are looked upon as the staff (by) the community,” Scales said. “We are no different than the staff; we are the staff.”

Although most board members had an opinion on the salaries, Brixie stayed neutral in the discussions.

“The purpose of having one elected commission is to depoliticize the compensation for elected officials,” Brixie said. “I felt I was not going to take a public position on someone’s salary besides my own, I thought that would be politicizing it.”

New salaries of elected officials:
*Took effect March 29

Julie Brixie, treasurer (full-time)
2013: $69,500
2014: $70,890

Brett Dreyfus, clerk (full-time)
2013: $69,500
2014: $70,890

Elizabeth LeGoff, supervisor (part-time)
2013: $20,400
2014: $20,808

Trustees (part-time)
2013: $9,807
2014: $10,003

Park commissioners (part-time)
2013: $40 per meeting
2014: $40 per meeting

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