By Shelby Stewart
Ortonville-The village council is scrutinizing themselves for an overage of almost $3,400 for paid-out salaries for attending meetings, which was shown on the budget.
“It looks like we went over by $3,000, almost $3,400 this year,” said Dan Eschmann, village president pro tempore. “This has got to be some of the highest paid-out salaries for attending meetings that I’ve ever seen.”
According to the village’s Documents on Demand website, in the last fiscal year there were 22 meetings, including regular meetings, special meetings, and joint meetings.
“I would also like to keep track of the special meetings, how many there were, and who requested them,” said Larry Hayden, trustee. “Because I think that the special meetings are probably a big portion of the overage and I would like to see it on record who exactly requested all of these special meetings that we’ve had in the past year.”
The council in their calendar has 12 meetings set for the year, which is one meeting per month. Anything called beyond that would be considered a special meeting. The council passes a motion, 6-1, to request the village office to pull the trustee meeting stipend payouts, and report the number of regular and special meetings for the last fiscal year, July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020. President Tonja Brice voted against the motion.
“It’s absolutely not responsible at all of Council to waste the time, money and resources on information that we do already have access to through our minutes,” said Brice. “Each of us are able to go back and figure out exactly what meetings we attended, exactly who was there, and exactly know what everyone gets paid, so I am not comfortable at all utilizing the office for something like this that we already have access to.”