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Brighton Township Approves Budget; Manager Salary Increase

The Brighton Township Board of Trustees held a special meeting on Monday night to approve its 2012-2013 budget.

The Brighton Board of Trustees unanimously approved a balanced budget of just under $3 million for 2012-2013 during a special meeting Monday night.

The budget will take effect April 1 and cover expenses through March 2013.

Township Manager Dan Bishop called the newly approved budget "pretty aggressive" in regards to its plans and projects.

For example, the budget sets aside $2 million for a sewer expansion expansion project. Bishop said project will add more customers to the sewer line, bringing in more revenue with the cost of hook up. The board recently approved a rate increase to cover the cost of its sewer debt. Bishop said the intent is to be reimbursed for construction costs on the project over time.

Also on the agenda were raises for board members and the township manager position. Township Supervisor Tom Murphy said the board directed a 1 percent pay increase for all payroll employees, based on performance reviews.

Board members voted 4-2 to approve a 1 percent increase for Bishop, something Township resident Mike Palmer spoke out against.

During the , Palmer suggested eliminating the $80,000 manager position because there is not that much work in the township for a manager.

"You're raising taxes or fees on 2,000-plus people in the township then coming back and slapping them in the face and saying that you're going to pass out a 1 percent increase in wages," Palmer said.  "It just doesn't make any sense to me. What have you done to deserve a raise? What has been accomplished over the last three years? Not much in the long term."

Township Treasurer Lana Theis and Trustee Mike Slaton both opposed the manager's raise. Effective April 1, Bishop will now be earning $81,608 annually.

Murphy said the last time Bishop received any kind of wage increase was two years ago, and that it was for benefits only.

Board members voted unanimously to keep the supervisor, treasurer and trustee salaries the same as last year.

After a motion for the clerk's salary to remain the same and another motion for the clerk to receive a 1 percent salary increase both failed, the board voted 5-1 to keep the salary the same. Murphy cast the lone dissenting vote.

Theis said she wanted to revisit the subject of a raise for Clerk Ann Bollin at a later time.

"She deserves a raise," Murphy said of Bollin. "She's been exemplary in her record for the last 10 years and done a wonderful job. And we continue to tie it everybody else and people need to be evaluated on their own merits."

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