By Stephanie Malench
On September 8, the Collinsville Township Board of Trustees approved cutting the Township Supervisor’s and Trustees’ salaries beginning May 17, 2021 after much discussion.
Several proposals were brought forth after Mary Meadows made a suggestion during public comment that the elected officials salaries be reduced by 25% across the board. The current salaries of the public officials are as follows: Township Supervisor- $68,109.00; Township Trustees- $6,963.25 ($580.27 per monthly meeting); Road and Bridge Commissioner- $62,245.82; Assessor $60,145.80 and Township Clerk- $15,309.82.
Trustee Rob Milam suggested that the Trustees not be paid at all, to which Trustee Derrick Cox went to the extreme and suggested that be for all the officials. Cox then made a motion to reduce all of the elected officials salaries by 25% and save the Township $60,000 each year. No one seconded the motion and it died on the floor.
Milam and Cox then argued back and forth several times that “the public doesn’t care” what the other has to say about anything.
Trustee Mike Foley then chimed in “shame on you if all you are doing as trustees is come to one meeting a month”. Foley went on to say that he is “still getting calls from pissed off seniors that kids are using their center and they can’t.”
Hopkins brought the meeting back to the topic at hand and asked for Road and Bridge Commissioner Larry Trucano and Township Assessor Peter Poletti to chime in about the proposed cuts. Trucano said their salaries should not be touched as they had not received a raise in four years.
Poletti then became irate at the proposals, stating that he and Trucano had not had a raise in 8 years and tried to demand a 5% raise for them. Cox asked why he needs a raise when he doesn’t come in and his reply was “I show up when I have to and do what I need to” and went on to slam Cox saying “you don’t even know what a multiplier is.”
The final motion proposed by Supervisor Dan Hopkins reduced the Supervisor’s salary to $52,000 per year and each Trustee’s salary to $300 each meeting ($3,600 annually) and kept the other salaries the same for the next term.
The Board also passed a resolution raising the IMRF standard to 1,000 hours from 600 hours to prevent the Street Department from having to pay into part time workers retirement fund, saving the Township additional money.
A donation for $200 to sponsor a hole and a snack was made to the Junior Service Club for their upcoming Golf Scramble. Hopkins and Cox both said they had already each personally sponsored a hole at the tournament.
During comments from Trustees, Trustee Jim Stack said he still has a problem with the kids using the Senior Center and wants a vote put on the October agenda on whether or not the Y should be allowed to continue using the center.
Foley then added that he thought that when the Y said they were going to clean the center after the kids leave that it would be “not just wiped down” and wants the building “fumigated” by the Y, not the Senior Center’s cleaning staff.
Hopkins said he has a phone call out to the Madison County Health Department to see if they can re-open to seniors who want to come at their own risk at a reduced capacity.
Milam asked how the Y could use the center when they already had a contract to use the Senior Center for Early Voting and Hopkins said that the Y doesn’t use that room during the day, stating that today they only had 10 kids and 2 staff.
A discussion then broke out about who the virus effects the most and Milam said no one should be using the center because it effects kids just like seniors. Cox proceeded to tell Milam “Follow the science and statistics. Shut up Rob, you’re an idiot.”
In the Supervisor’s Report, Hopkins said that the brick work on the Township Office Building has been complete.