Township board enjoys many perks

It is always at this time in any given election cycle that would be politicians and incumbents laud themselves and make their existence palatable to public taste. Whether at the national level or the local municipal one it is pretty much the same. In Davison Township the broadcasting of accomplishments from the incumbents should not mask what they serve themselves before the public, and of which they never talk about.

Beginning with the original boards and all the way to the present the following is available: full-time salaries for the Supervisor, Clerk and Treasurer (while in most townships in Genesee County only the Clerk is full-time). These positions also include full medical benefits and a full retirement with 20 years of continuous “service”. In fact, all employees who work just 20 years consecutively receive a lifelong pension.

The two Trustees (what I would refer to as “part part time” positions) receive a salary of approximately $14,000 per year, medical benefits if desired (or a stipend of cash if they don’t need them), and incredulously they are also eligible for a pension after serving for just 20 years. I wonder if certain members of the current board, who own local businesses, would be so generous to their employees as they are to themselves with township tax dollars? A study some years ago showed that Davison Township had by far the most lucrative compensation packages of any township in the county.

Another board level “bad” that exists in the size of the board. Currently, there are five members. This creates a real or perceived violation of the Michigan Open Meetings Act that prohibits a majority of any government board from meeting unless it is publicly posted. Expanding the two Trustee positions to four would eliminate this situation. At the very least, medical benefits and retirement should be permanently eliminated for Trustees regardless of the number.

In closing, no elected official should be provided medical benefits and a pension for any length of service. Union contracts aside, the 20-year retirement opportunities for all employees should be eliminated and replaced with a contribution to employee matching Individual Retirement Plan. Politicians or would be ones who support these outrageous fringe benefits are simply serving themselves first. — Vince Paris, Davison Township