Board member car allowance eliminated

FLINT TWP. — In an ongoing effort to cut costs, the township board has voted for the second time this month to cut its own benefits.

By a unanimous vote, with Treasurer Sandra Wright absent, the board eliminated the car allowance for the supervisor, clerk and treasurer.

“To help deal with the township’s financial difficulties, the unions and employees have made concessions and just recently the board voted to eliminated health insurance and the optional stipend for the next sitting trustees,’’ said Trustee Belenda Parker, who authored the proposal.

She also recommended that when a vehicle is needed for township business by the supervisor, clerk or treasurer, they share one of the five vehicles the township already owns She also suggested that two of six police vehicles recently discontinued from service be repaired for their use.

The township fleet consists of a 2008 Chevrolet 1500 van with 62,015 miles on it, a 1998 Chevy Lumina, with 83,944 miles; a 2000 Chevy Silverado, 77,682 miles; a 1999 Chevy Lumina, 57,916 miles and a 2000 Chevy Lumina, 39,598 miles, according to a memo from the building department. Those vehicles are primarily used by code enforcement officers and personnel in the assessor’s office, according to the memo.

“I am quite familiar with the traveling done by the clerk and treasurer,’’ Parker said. “Since it is minimum, there should not be a problem with utilizing a pool car to share with the supervisor.”

Clerk Kim Courts said the township’s vehicles are getting old and have had lots of repairs. The board needs to figure out to compensate the clerk, supervisor and treasurer for use of their own vehicles, she said.

Trustee Frank Kasle favored passing the measure and letting the incoming board worry about how reimbursement.. He suggested that the affected board members use their own vehicles an be paid the IRS-set mileage reimbursement rate.

Supervisor Karyn Miller pointed out that the change does not go into effect until November.

In a separate agenda item, the board discussed a proposal from Kasle to require the supervisor, clerk and treasurer to contribute 20 percent of health care premiums, up from five percent required for all employees.

Kasle first proposed that change at the board’s June 4 meeting but was not supported. He asked that it be placed on the next agenda for discussion.

At the June 4 meeting, the board approved the elimination of health care option for part-time trustees, effective in November when the newly elected board terms begin.

Some board members questioned why Kasle did not provide a written proposal in their information packet. After some discussion, they voted 5 to 1 to postpone the decision until Treasurer Sandra Wright, who is not running for reelection, was present to cast her vote. Kasle cast the lone no vote.

During public comment, Alex Clark, who is running for clerk, spoke in favor of the proposal. He said the board should lead by example because it might be heading toward a point when it has to ask its employees to pay even more toward health costs.

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