Dear Editor and Perry Township residents:
At the June 8 Perry Township board meeting, the trustees had no old business to consider. For new business they spent some time discussing a fire levy that trustee Dusty Smith brought up, deciding to request an increase in mileage to cover all costs of our fire protection, as approximately $8,000 a year is being paid from the general fund to cover the short fall. They agreed to contact our county auditor to determine what mileage for a replacement levy would be necessary to fund the full $40,000 yearly amount of fire coverage instead of the $32,000 amount of the current levy.
However, later in the meeting fiscal officer Howard Smith informed that the current levy is for five years and runs through 2017. Thus, this issue was dropped by the trustees. Discussing the township roads, among other concerns trustee Smith mentioned getting cold mix to make some repairs. The trustees also once again mentioned improving a curve on Barrett Road, which had been requested a few years ago by a resident.
Hopefully you are thinking about running for a local government position. Wondering about the compensation and benefits? Ohio law establishes the basis for compensation and benefits of school board members and township trustees. School board members can be paid up to $125 a meeting, though each board of education can choose to pay its members any amount up to this maximum. The school board member must actually attend a meeting in order to receive this compensation. The member can also be paid up to $60 daily for attending a training program of three hours or less and up to $125 a day for a program greater than three hours. Although a board member can participate in their district’s health care plan, the school board member must pay the full amount of the premium.
Township officers’ salaries by law are based upon each township’s budget, which is the total amount available in its funds for expenditures each year, not the actual amount spent. The trustees can be paid on either a daily basis for work performed each day or on a salary basis, with their salaries limited to 200 days each year. Each local township board decides whether to pay its trustees on the daily basis or on the salary basis. Our Perry Township trustees are paid on a salary basis. This year, each of our trustees receives a salary of $9,004. Ohio statute establishes fiscal officer pay on a yearly basis. This year our Perry Township fiscal officer receives a salary of $14,147. A board of township trustee may obtain health insurance benefits in accordance with Ohio law for its officers and its employees, with required uniform coverage for the township officers and full time employees. The health insurance benefits, if any, for each of our townships vary based upon the decision of each township board of trustees. Currently, Perry Township provides a medical reimbursement plan with a yearly limit of $3,000 for each of our officers. If a township officer is absent from the township for 90 consecutive days, the person’s office may be deemed vacant and the trustees can appoint a different individual to the office. Otherwise, there seems to be no requirement for township officers to receive their salary and any additional benefits.
Unlike board of education members and township officers, Ohio law does not establish the basis for the salaries and benefits of city council members and village council members. Thus, council members’ salaries and benefits are set by each city or village council. Washington Court House informed that its council members currently receive an annual salary of $7,200 and a benefit of a $50,000 life insurance policy. I did not contact the villages in our county regarding salary and benefits for their council members.
The central committee members of our county’s political parties do not receive a salary or other financial benefit.
Perry Township resident