Village Planner appointed interim administrator
The Marvin Council voted to give itself a 40 percent pay-increase during their May 24 budget work-session. The pay-raise amounts to $100 more per month for the Mayor, the Mayor Pro Tem and each council member, who will now be paid $400, $350 and $300 per month respectively.
“I still think it’s reasonable, we are still coming in [paid less] under Weddington and way under Waxhaw.” Councilman Anthony Burman, who made the motion, said. “I am comfortable with the increase when compared with our neighbors.”
Mayor Pro Tem Ron Salimao thought a better pay model would be on based on per meeting attendance. “I do believe in pay for performance” said Salimao. “[Council members are] paid a flat amount for 24 meetings per year, then lesser amount for additional meetings, but with a cap.”
“It’s never comfortable giving yourself a raise”, Salimao said “I don’t think we are taking advantage, considering the amount of time we put in to the job.” Salimao then spoke of spending 10 hours digging a trench for the park’s irrigation system. “How many towns have council-members digging ditches?”, he asked in jest.
Councilman Ross Overby voted against the motion, which passed 2-1.
“In a year where a lot of people are struggling to keep their jobs, its kind of awkward to give ourselves a raise in this economic climate” Overby said, “We all work hard, but we choose to do that.”
The Village Council also decided to pay a stipend of $25 per regular meeting to members serving on the Village Planning Board, Board of Adjustment and Parks, Recreation and Greenways board. Council-members felt a stipend was a good way to show the Village’s appreciation for the volunteers who serve on the boards.
“It will go towards the cost of a babysitter” former Planning Board member, Mary Shkuat, who is now the Deputy Village Clerk, said.
In other budget-workshop actions, the Council received an overview of forecast expenses by the newly hired Village Finance Officer, Jim [John] Philyaw, who lead council-members though multiple spreadsheets detailing revenue and expenses based on the whether Marvin wins the 2008 annexation case this year.
The Council scheduled another budget work-shop for 11 am on June 1, at the Town Hall.
Mayoral authority reinstated
In addition to the budget-work, the Marvin Council amended its own August 2009 resolution clarifying the Mayor and Council Roles; which limited the authority of the Mayor by excluding powers traditionally held by the office. Instead, the Council voted to restore the Mayor’s authority to sign checks and contracts, as well as approve invoices for products and services.
“We still have checks and balances in place” said Salimao, “everything is covered.” The original Council resolution took place when former mayor John Ciaramella was in office.
Last weeks abrupt resignation of Village Administrator Terri Patton left the town without anyone authorized to sign checks and contracts. A change in the state statutes late last year prevented the Village from naming a council member as interim administrator. Council members said restoring the mayoral authority is a stopgap until the Council can hire a new administrator.
Even with the Mayor’s authority restored, the Council named Lisa Thompson as interim Village Administrator for what the Council expects will just be a matter of weeks. Ms. Thompson is the Village’s only full time employee whose normal duties are as Senior Planner and Code Enforcer.
“We needed to have someone with authority in the office during business hours.” Mayor Pro Tem Salimao said, “the Mayor has signing authority, so nothing will slip though the