Leroy Twp. approves road crew raises
LEROY TWP. - Township supervisors recently agreed to raises for the township's part-time road foreman and part-time road workers.
At the last township meeting, township supervisor chairman Ted Tomlinson opened up the discussion on setting the wages.
Road master Jared Wilcox had proposed that he be given a $2 an hour raise.
"I'm not saying you're not worth it, but we might want to think about offering a counterproposal," Tomlinson told him.
"I like the way you stepped into the role and have taken charge of things."
Tomlinson suggested a $1 an hour raise, taking Wilcox to $15 an hour.
Wilcox told Tomlinson that in his proposal, he provided the rationale as to why he was asking for a $2 an hour raise.
"I accepted all the responsibilities of the job 16 months ago," Wilcox said. "Now, I have the added responsibility of the underground storage tank, the compliance and training with that, setting the work schedules, making sure the work gets done, maintaining all the vehicles. I asked for a $2 raise; I think it's worth the added responsibilities. The other crew members aren't given responsibilities like that."
Supervisor Jason Krise said an increase was worthwhile, but he didn't know if the township could go with the whole $2.
Wilcox also noted that when two men are working, he is the laborer as well. He added that his work day begins at 3 a.m. on a typical snow day, and the road crew is on the roads early, around 5 a.m., to begin plowing the roads. He added that he doesn't sleep the night before, when a snowfall occurs and the roads need to be cleared.
Commenting on the "past history of Leroy Township," Tomlinson said, "we haven't had a really large gap between the operators and the road foreman" in terms of pay. He was concerned about creating too much of a pay gap between the foreman and the road workers.
"We want to be fair to everybody, I guess that's what I'm trying to say."
Wilcox said it was being implied, but not stated, that taking on supervisor responsibilities "isn't worth the extra money."
He said such day-to-day responsibilities such as ensuring enough fuel is available was on his shoulders alone.
Wilcox added that he didn't think the township would be able to get someone for the job who had to support a family.
"There's been weeks where we've had 12 hours," he said. "Where are you going to find people who will take a job for 12 hours a week?"
Tomlinson asked him if the township's proposal was acceptable.
"When it comes down to it, we don't have any choice in the matter," Wilcox said. "You're going to pay us what you want to pay us."
"But we want to make sure we have a happy road crew because you guys do a great job," Tomlinson said.
Tomlinson added that the supervisors "got a good report" about the road crew from people in the township, and everybody seemed to be happy with the crew.
"We'd like to keep you on and keep you happy," he said.
Tomlinson asked if he had any input. "You've got my input," Wilcox responded.
"If that's what it's going to be, then that's what it's going to be."
According to Tomlinson, the supervisors' proposal was accepted and put into effect.
Road worker Ron Chaapel also attended the meeting, and appeared to be in favor of the township's proposal. Road worker Butch May didn't attend the meeting.
Under the action taken, Chaapel, the newest employee who was hired in July and is used on an "as-needed basis," will go from $13 an hour to $13.50 and May will go from $14 an hour to $14.50, due to his additional qualifications. Wilcox and May are always the first two employees called out.
Wilcox said he didn't ask for a raise for Chaapel, since Chaapel hasn't worked a full year yet.
The part-time road employees do not have any benefits.
Krise had compared the township's pay scale for road workers with other municipalities, and found that the township's pay scale was "about even" with other municipalities of approximately the same size.
Eric Hrin can be reached at (570) 297-5251; email: email@example.com.