View the Agenda for this Meeting
SPECIAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF NOVI
SATURDAY, APRIL 8, 2000 AT 11:00 AM
COUNCIL CHAMBERS-NOVI CIVIC CENTER-45175 W. TEN MILE ROAD
Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 11:15 AM.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:
ROLL CALL: Mayor Clark, Mayor ProTem Lorenzo, Council Members Bononi-arrived at 11:42 AM, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche and Kramer-arrived at 11:17 AM
ALSO PRESENT: Tia Gronlund-Fox, Craig Klaver
APPROVAL OF AGENDA
CM-00-04106 Moved by Lorenzo, seconded by DeRoche; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To approve the agenda as presented.
Vote on CM-00-04-106 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Lorenzo
Absent: Kramer, Bononi
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - NONE
PURPOSE OF SPECIAL MEETING
Compensation Benefit Package for City Clerk
Ms. Gronlund-Fox referred to her memo to Council regarding a telephone conversation with Ms. Cornelius. She said the key issues were wages, city vehicle, vacation and employment agreement.
Mayor Clark said there is an agreement between Ms. Cornelius and the City of Walled Lake and she obviously would not be adverse to an employment agreement, which is the same situation they had with the new City Manager.
Mayor Clark said the advertised range for this position was $57,150-$66,675.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox advised Council that a City Clerk Wage Survey was included in their packets for cities of similar population. Ms. Bartholomew was at $63,511.00.
Mayor Clark said according to the survey the average salary range for Troy, Farmington Hills, Southfield, Royal Oak, Madison Heights, Oak Park, Ferndale and Birmingham is $64,601.00.
Member Crawford said there are four cities above Novi’s salary range and four cities below Novi’s salary range which put Novi in the middle. He said all the other cities have
longevity and asked if that meant their present City Clerk had longevity or have any of those cities eliminated longevity as Novi has?
Ms. Gronlund-Fox said Troy, Farmington Hills and Southfield currently have longevity for their employees as well as their City Clerk. Madison Heights has modified their longevity but their City Clerk does have it and she believed Birmingham still had it.
Member Crawford asked if to her knowledge had any of them eliminated it for new hires as Novi had. Ms. Gronlund-Fox said no.
Mr. Klaver commented a couple of communities have capped it. Several communities used to have the standard 2%, 4%, 6% and 8%, which was the normal ten years ago for most communities. In order to phase it out several communities have capped it at minimum amounts like $300-$500. Generally, everyone has grandfathered existing employees.
Member Crawford felt the salary should be in the range of $64,000 to $65,000 which would be slightly below what the past clerk was making and slightly above the average of all the clerks. He also commented for consideration Council might want this to be in effect until July 1, 2001. He thought Council should move more toward the higher end rather than the lower end because of the 14 months between now and July 1, 2001.
Member Lorenzo said she was hoping to begin on the low range in order to save money or reallocate it. She said they were doing the budget this afternoon and had to separate wants and needs. She felt the $64,000-$65,000 was on the high side. Ms. Cornelius is currently making $51,854 plus $3,000 in longevity, which makes it $54,000.
She was willing to go as high as $61,000 but not higher.
Member DeRoche said he would like to know what she was offered to stay at Walled Lake because that was what she was worth in the market place. He said her current salary is somewhat irrelevant to what the City of Novi is offering her and that was the level of responsibilities that she would be asked to perform. There are significantly more precincts and elections are larger and the responsibility is different. Walled Lake only has two precincts. He felt that the value of the City Clerks’ Office as a whole is something that Council needed to keep running at a top-notch level. Novi is hiring the President of the Michigan Clerks Association. He stated he would be willing to negotiate up to the levels Member Crawford mentioned. Member DeRoche asked if it was appropriate to ask Ms. Cornelius what Walled Lake offered her to stay?
Ms. Gronlund-Fox did not think it was inappropriate.
Member Csordas thought it could be asked. He said with her current longevity and base salary a $61,000 base wage here would be a 13% increase. A $63,000 base salary would be a 15% increase over her current comp package. He agreed with Member DeRoche that there would be a significant increase in her responsibilities in Novi. He thought there was opportunity to bring on somebody who is capable to handle
the increased load. Also, there is an opportunity to maintain the current wage that Ms. Bartholomew was paid to do the same job. He would like to land in the $63,000 range.
He did not think a percentage increase could be put on what her responsibilities would be.
CM-00-04-106 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Lorenzo; MOTION CARRIED: To offer Ms. Cornelius a base salary of
Member Kramer felt Novi was getting a quality Clerk with good experience and credentials. The only other element he would want to add to this discussion is the administrative range within the City of Novi. Taking all the table discussion into account and assessing what the current salaries listed in the packet were represented an amount that would be increased in June or July.
Mr. Klaver said the other contracts that extend into next year all average 3%. That is not guaranteed but it is the pattern that has been set.
Member Kramer said then Council is setting a salary for the Clerk that would not include the 3%. Mayor Clark said her salary would be set until July 1, 2001.
Mayor Clark concurred with all comments made. He wanted to be prudent but at the same time realized that Novi is getting a quality employee with a great deal of high level experience. She has been recognized by her peers in that regard and is President of the Clerks’ Association and that is something that comes with experience, skill, knowledge, expertise and recognition by others in the field. Also, Council has to bear in mind the increase in responsibilities because Novi is a much larger city. The tasks she performs will be greater. In conjunction with any wage offer Council has to bear in mind that she currently has longevity that she would not get with Novi. Also, Novi does not have a reciprocal agreement regarding MERS so that what she has earned for the last ten years at Walled Lake is frozen and can not be rolled into what Novi would be paying into. It would be an added benefit to an employee if there were a reciprocal agreement, which impacted her pension down the road. If Novi had a reciprocal agreement she would be getting a pension that would be that much greater when she retires. She is making a sacrifice coming to the City of Novi and Council has to recognize that sacrifice. It also says something about her willingness to become a part of our City and that should be taken into account when a salary range is set. She is giving up two benefits that have substantial value and it also says she is doing it with the intent of being with Novi for a good long while and that has to be recognized as well.
Member Kramer said looking at the range of administrative salaries and the probable increase there, in consideration of the table discussion and the experience, etc. and that position within the comparative cities he suggested around $63,500. Also, with a stipulation that it would not be subject for increase through 2001. He felt this was appropriate for the position and within the range of City salaries.
Member Crawford said some of the most recent discussion on what the responsibilities are in Novi and what the job entails in Novi compared to Walled Lake are very important. The Mayor’s comments about what she is giving up to come here are also very important. He took all of this into consideration when he thought that an
appropriate range was $63,000 to $65,000. He said that is where Member Kramer is and it is a frozen range of what Member Csordas mentioned. He would like to see the range at $63,000 to $65,000 and see what Ms. Cornelius had to say. It is very important to understand the kind of job she is coming into not the kind of job she left. She is coming into a job that demands that kind of compensation. That and the fact that she is losing additional benefits to come here he thought made this range a fair one. He said he would not support the motion for $63,000 flat and would like to see a range.
Member Bononi did not believe that it was up to the next employer to make up the difference between wages or benefits. She did not believe that Council should be topping out the salary but finding a compromise.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said she would support the motion but did so reluctantly because she would have preferred a lower range.
Member DeRoche supported the motion as well and thought it was a good place to start.
Roll call vote on CM-00-04-106 Yeas: Clark, Lorenzo, Bononi, Csordas, DeRoche,
Ms. Gronlund-Fox said vacation days are accrued during the first year and received in the beginning of the second year. The second year is 10 days vacation and from then until the fourth year it remains at two weeks. From 4 to 9 years three weeks is received and after 9 years it is four weeks and it goes no higher. Currently Ms. Cornelius receives 20 days vacation. She said it is not uncommon to begin people out with more vacation based on their years of experience in their profession. She said they have started several people out with three weeks.
Member Kramer said given her current experience and if all that experience was with Novi what would she receive?
Ms. Gronlund-Fox said she would be at four weeks.
Member Crawford thought it was entirely appropriate to offer her the same compensation the City Manager was offered which was three weeks for the remainder of this year and then four weeks next year.
CM-00-04-107 Moved by Crawford, seconded by DeRoche: MOTION CARRIED:To approve for the City Clerk position 3 weeks vacation during the year 2000 and four weeks in 2001 and thereafter subject to future changes in administrative policy.
Member Csordas could not support this motion. He felt that two weeks would be fairly generous in a situation like this. He felt three weeks was very stout from May until the
end of the year. He thought since current policy was first year was zero and second and third year was two weeks he felt ten days was fair and four weeks starting in 2001.
Member Bononi felt it was an excessive amount of time for a new employee and although it was taken into consideration what an applicant currently received and they wish to entice quality people to work for Novi she did not believe Council had to match that. Considering what other folks in the same situation get she felt it was excessive. Two weeks this year is a real plus and she would not support the second year going to four weeks. She would support three in the second year and thought it was a gift. This is much, much more than generous for a new person.
Member Crawford did not necessarily disagree with the last two speakers logic but Council just went through this with a new City Manager who will actually start working two weeks before the Clerk starts and he was offered three weeks and four weeks. He thought they should remain consistent.
Member Kramer prorated 66% of the year and it comes out 2 ½ weeks and he suggested that was appropriate. He would support 2 ½ weeks and four weeks for next year.
Mayor Clark said Ms. Cornelius is the President of the Michigan Clerks’ Association and their annual conference is May 19th through the 26th and she would be gone. The Association pays for it so there is no cost to the City.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox commented Ms. Cornelius did not expect to be paid a salary for that week.
Member Csordas said in light of that let her go to the conference and pay her salary. It is a benefit to the City and then on top of that provide two weeks.
Member Bononi did not want to let it seem like Council was looking for any kind of consistent rule in regard to determining what this vacation benefit is. She disagreed that the Chief Executive should not be set apart from all other positions with regard to this. She did not consider this a situation that needed to be consistent.
Member Crawford said taking into consideration what Ms. Gronlund-Fox just said
about the fact that she did not intend to be paid for the week that she was in conference he would like to amend the motion.
CM-00-04-108 Moved by Crawford, seconded Csordas; MOTION CARRIED:
To amend the main motion to pay the Clerks salary
while she attends the Michigan Clerks’ Association Conference, offer two weeks additional vacation in 2000
and four weeks a year beginning in 2001 and thereafter
subject to changes in administrative policy.
Roll call vote on CM-00-04-108 Yeas: Lorenzo, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche,
CM-00-04-109 Moved by Lorenzo; Bononi; MOTION FAILED:
To amend the main motion to provide the City Clerk with
three weeks vacation in 2001.
Roll call vote on CM-00-04-109 Yeas: Bononi, Lorenzo
Nays: Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Mayor Clark called for a roll call vote on the main motion and restated it as four weeks for the year 2001 and thereafter subject to future changes in administrative policy if any.
Roll call vote on CM-00-04-107 Yeas: Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Crawford
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Mayor Clark said it was his understanding that historically a vehicle has not been provided to the City Clerk. In instances when the City Clerk would be out of the City on official City business she would be compensated for mileage.
Mr. Klaver said the employees are given an option and there are a number of pool vehicles that are available. They can request a car and it will be provided or they can take their own car with mileage reimbursement of 32.5 cents a mile, which is the current IRS rate.
Mr. Klaver said for 30 years Gerry Stipp was City Clerk and she was a resident of the community so that might have had some bearing on the fact that a vehicle was not historically offered. Ms. Bartholomew was driving a long distance and that was a point of discussion.
CM-00-04-110 Moved by Kramer, seconded by DeRoche; MOTION CARRIED:
That a vehicle would not be provided for the City Clerk but if
engaged in official business an available pool car could be used or if the City Clerks’ personal vehicle was used mileage would be paid at the appropriate rate that the IRS allows for reimbursement.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo asked if a pool vehicle or mileage was available for any City meeting whether nightly or afternoon or whenever?
Mr. Klaver said that would be considered personal commuting and is not included. A pool vehicle is for official City business only.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said she would not support the motion because a pool car should be available to the City Clerk because of the number of night meetings she attends. The City Forester, who does not have to be here as often as the City Clerk does, has a vehicle. She felt it was fair and reasonable that the City Clerk be allowed to use a pool vehicle if a vehicle is not provided.
Mayor Clark noticed that there are a number of vehicles parked at City Hall and obviously the employees are not allowed to take them home at night.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox said that is correct. The Assessing, Building, Parks and Recreation Departments have vehicles they use during the day.
Member Crawford supported the motion and said if the City Clerk had fulfilled two of the three requirements for a vehicle he would have felt differently. He felt that any City employee that needed to go on City business should have a pool car available and thought there was already a policy in place regarding that.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox suggested an alternative to a City vehicle would be a car allowance.
Mayor Clark felt mileage would be a good option.
Roll call vote on CM-00-04-110 Yeas: DeRoche, Kramer, Clark, Bononi, Crawford,
Member Crawford stated it had not been decided whether an employment contract would be offered.
Mayor Clark thought she would not be adverse to a contract because she was working under a contract now.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox said the main premise of her employment contract with Walled Lake was severance pay. A copy of Ms. Cornelius’ Employment Agreement had been given to Council and they were asked to refer to page 1, paragraph 3 regarding severance pay.
Mayor Clark said the only thing he would want in an Employment Contract was an acknowledgement by the employee that they understand that they are an at will employee. If severance becomes an issue and Ms. Cornelius brings it up did Council
want to provide a severance payment of thirty days if termination is not for improper behavior.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox said Ms. Cornelius’ present Employment Agreement says, "in lieu of giving 30 days written notice of termination, the Employer may terminate the employee immediately, in which case the Employee is entitled to immediate payment of one months severance pay."
Member Kramer said which in reverse if 30 days is given there is no severance pay?
Ms. Gronlund-Fox said yes.
Member DeRoche said the Employment Contracts are good because it is a cleaner way to get rid of employees that they no longer want. He wanted to be sure this was
written clean. He suggested if the City choose to exercise the termination option it is one months pay unless it is a for cause termination and that is it.
CM-00-04-111 Moved by DeRoche, seconded by Crawford; CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY: To enter into an Employment Contract which would require that the employee acknowledge they are an at will employee and that there is a severance clause to be drafted by the City Attorney that offers no more than 30 days
pay and that Council is empowered to invoke that clause at any Regular or Special Council meeting at which they choose to consider the issue.
Mr. Klaver felt the identical language in the City Managers contract would be appropriate with the appropriate severance substituted to accomplish the goal they wanted.
Mayor Clark said it would be paragraph 6 of Mr. Helwig’s contract and it could be "provided in the event that the City Clerk’s employment is terminated the City Clerk shall be entitled to the following severance pay of one month’s pay."
Member Crawford asked if this motion included that this agreement be patterned after the City Manager’s agreement?
Mayor Clark said when this is drafted he wanted to see it before it went to Ms. Cornelius to make sure it did contain the appropriate language.
Roll call vote on CM-00-04-111 Yeas: Kramer, Lorenzo, Clark, Bononi, Crawford,
OFFER TO MARYANNE CORNELIUS
Mayor Clark welcomed Ms. Cornelius and stated he thought Council understood the main areas of her concerns were wages, vacation, vehicle and Council added employment agreement.
Maryanne Cornelius said she appreciated the appointment and was anxious to begin with the City of Novi. She expressed her desire to be with Novi and to make a positive impact and be part of the team with the new City Manager and City Treasurer. She said she would be bringing over nine years of experience as a City Clerk as well as three years municipal experience. She expressed her desire to have the focus of the Clerks Department to fix any issues that Council might have regarding issues of communication, public service, etc.
Mayor Clark asked if she had specific comments to direct to any of the items he mentioned?
Ms. Cornelius said she did not and believed that Council had been aware of her conversations with Ms. Gronlund-Fox. She asked Mayor Clark to begin the discussion.
Mayor Clark said it was his understanding that in her present position she worked under an employment contract. He asked if she would be adverse to that situation again which is the same situation as the City Manager?
Ms. Cornelius said she would not.
Mayor Clark said one of the provisions in his employment agreement that would be proposed would be that the City Clerk would be an at will employee.
Ms. Cornelius said she would not have a problem with that.
Mayor Clark said, regarding a vehicle, the Council discussed this and it had been a policy in the past that a vehicle was not provided to the City Clerk. As an alternative Council has provided that anytime the City Clerk had to be on official City business she would have the option to avail herself of a pool vehicle or drive her own vehicle and be compensated at the going rate that the IRS allows. He said this was the consensus of Council.
Ms. Cornelius said it was her understanding that most department heads do have a vehicle and asked if that was correct?
Mayor Clark said a number of them do and those that do are expected to respond in an emergency situation especially department heads in the DPW, Police and Fire. That is why there has never been a policy providing for a vehicle on a 24-hour basis for the City Clerk.
Ms. Cornelius asked if she understood correctly in talking with Ms. Gronlund-Fox discussion revealed that having to attend all the Council meetings was a criteria and that other department heads that do have a vehicle do not attend the Council meetings and are not Police or Fire personnel?
Ms. Gronlund-Fox said there are department heads that do not attend all Council meetings but do have City vehicles.
Mayor Clark said that answers the question. We are back to the same position in the sense that this was discussed with Council and that seemed to be the consensus of what would be done at this time. Monday through Friday when the Clerk is at City Hall if there were a need for a pool vehicle it would be there to use. If at an afternoon meeting in another City and a pool vehicle was used the Clerk would not be expected to drive back to City Hall to return the vehicle and pick up her own. She could go directly home or she could elect to drive her own vehicle and be compensated for mileage.
Mayor Clark said Council’s position on vacation would be to provide for two weeks of vacation in 2000. However, they understood that during May 19-26 she would be at the
annual meeting of the Michigan Clerks Association and that while she was attending that the City would compensate her for that week. Also, beginning in the year 2001 the City would provide four weeks vacation subject to any future change to administrative policy, which would apply to any City employee.
Mayor Clark advised her the next topic would be compensation and asked if she had any comments before they began.
Ms. Cornelius said being a long tenured employee somewhere there are different packages allowed in different municipalities. She understood that by changing careers the municipality for which she would be employed there would be, despite a loss of longevity and sick leave pay out, those things that are now a part of a total compensation package. She had explained to Ms. Gronlund-Fox that she understood that this municipality no longer offered longevity and there is no provision for sick leave pay out. Those would be two things in addition to experiencing the loss of the annual four weeks vacation. She hoped her compensation of salary would be able to make up for the loss of those other items.
Mayor Clark said regarding the salary package, bearing in mind the way our year runs, any proposal that would be made would run through July 1, 2001 and at that point it would be open for negotiation. The figure that Council had arrived at was in the range of $63,000, which they thought would be fair and adequate compensation.
Ms. Cornelius did not know if they had ever been in this position. It is a very unique one and causes a level of discomfort for both parties in terms of things to be discussed about salary and benefits. She said she expressed to Ms. Gronlund-Fox that annually, beginning this year July 1, her current compensation package would be $62,000. Therefore, her desire was to be compensated at the salary rate of $66,500 in order to make up for the loss of a sick leave pay out, longevity, etc. She said also by experiencing a loss of two weeks vacation it would increase the total package by an additional $2,000.
Member Csordas said then he believed they were working off the wrong numbers and asked what she said her current salary was?
Ms. Cornelius said at present it is $52,000 and in addition she is compensated by a medical health stipend of $4,000 annually, sick leave pay out that is about $2,700 annually and longevity that is about $2,500. She said her W-2 last year was $60,000 and with those items her salary as of July 1, 2000 would be $62,000.
Mr. Klaver said Ms. Cornelius was referring to an opt out program for medical and Novi currently offers a similar program but the current monthly opt out is $145.00. It is approximately $1,740 a year. It is almost a $2,300 difference in what Walled Lake offers and what Novi offers.
Member Crawford said regarding the vacation issue it was Council’s understanding that Ms. Cornelius intended to go to the conference and not be compensated for it via wages. Is that correct?
Ms. Cornelius said no that is not correct.
Member Crawford said they had initially said three weeks this year and four next year. Then it got into the discussion that she intended not to be compensated for that week she was gone so that is why they made it two weeks plus compensation for that. He said if other City employees are sent to conventions they are not docked pay for the time they are gone. He would like to reconsider this issue.
Member Csordas wanted to get the real numbers.
Ms. Cornelius said she prepared something for Council that might help and handed it out.
Member Csordas said her current and budgeted salary for 2000 is $53,928 plus the additional longevity of $2,160. He asked what sick leave pay out was?
Ms. Cornelius said once an employee reached 100 days of sick leave accumulation they were paid for any additional leave they accumulated that year. By July 1st, because she has reached the 100 days, she is paid for the 12 days that she has accumulated and did not use. She said there had been a decrease in the health stipend because they were able to save on the health premiums by going to a PPO program with Blue Cross. They decided that rather than a set dollar figure, each employee was paid half of the premium of whatever coverage they were receiving at the time. The premium reduced so the health stipend was reduced. Even with the reduced stipend the annual pay was close to $62,000.
Member Csordas said the opt out that the City currently has is $1,740 annually. He said $63,000 base plus the opt out is $64,740. He asked if Novi had a sick leave policy.
Mr. Klaver said Novi did have a program but it did not have the provision that Ms. Cornelius explained. It is a reward for unused days but is a much, much reduced benefit over what Ms. Cornelius was talking about. The very most an employee could get would be two days pay and most employees do not qualify.
CM-00-04-112 Moved by Csordas, seconded by Crawford; MOTION CARRIED: That the base salary be the $63,000 Council had originally proposed plus $2,100 taking it to $65,100.
Member Csordas said plus the benefit of $1,740 health stipend would take it to
Member Kramer said the proposal is $65,100. Member Csordas said yes.
Member Crawford said this is the range he offered because of the added responsibility and felt they were back to a fair compensation.
Roll call vote on CM-00-04-112 Yeas: Clark, Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
CM-00-04-113 Moved by Crawford, seconded by Kramer; MOTION CARRIED:
To give the City Clerk three weeks vacation through December 31, 2000 and four weeks beginning in 2001 and succeeding years based on the current administrative policy.
Member Kramer said the three weeks is not a lessening of the vacation allowance. It is 2/3rds of four weeks, which is consistent with 2/3rds of the year she would be with Novi.
Ms. Cornelius asked if that was a calendar year and Member Kramer said it was.
Roll call vote on CM-00-04-113 Yeas: Crawford, Csordas, DeRoche, Kramer, Clark
Nays: Lorenzo, Bononi
Mayor Clark said Council had talked about severance or termination of employment obviously for some cause that would not constitute misfeasance or malfeasance in performance of her duties that she would be provided one months severance. He understood this was what her present arrangement provided.
Ms. Cornelius said if it is for cause it is one month and without cause it is four months.
Mayor Clark asked what her comments were.
Ms. Cornelius asked if the employment agreement would be drawn up with all these things being discussed now?
Mayor Clark said absolutely.
Ms. Cornelius respectfully requested the Council consider a vehicle or vehicle allowance. She said she knew it was offered to other department heads and she would appreciate being considered the same.
Mayor Clark asked if she was talking about a vehicle allowance as opposed to using her vehicle with a mileage allowance? She said yes.
Mayor Clark said it would be some flat dollar amount per month. Ms. Cornelius said it could be.
Member Kramer asked what she thought would be an appropriate vehicle allowance?
Member Crawford thought it was something that could be considered. He would not expect it to be a total car allowance as was offered to the City Manager. He explained the three criteria for eligibility for a City car. He thought if she had two out of three of these he would look favorably on a car but felt only 1 ½ applied. He would look at a compromise of a lesser car allowance in consideration of the night meetings.
Member DeRoche felt there was a belief that a car should not be given to go to and from work. It should be given to people who need to travel as part of their job. He said so far they have not done a good job considering the department heads with City cars. He thought some Council Members wanted to see consistency; Council expects employees to get to this building with their own vehicle and they will be given benefits if traveling is a big part of their job.
Member Bononi stated that her unwillingness to give Ms. Cornelius a car/car allowance had a lot to do with several things and the timing is not working too positively with her request. She agreed with Member DeRoche and felt that this had to be revisited and that the inequities are a big subject.
Member Csordas said in the private entities they are responsible for going back and forth to work. In looking at this it indicates that the City vehicle policy in the past has been to liberal.
Mayor Clark said he agreed and felt this was something that needed to be addressed.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorenzo said in terms of fiscal prudence not actually purchasing a vehicle but allowing her the ability of a pool car to use. She said her opposition to other proposals made today was no reflection on Ms. Cornelius but based on fiscal prudence for the City.
Member Crawford said the availability of a pool car and/or mileage allowance was available to all administrative employees whether department heads or not if they use their own vehicle.
Ms. Cornelius said she believed that by obtaining a vehicle allowance it would be one less vehicle for the Municipality to insure as well as maintain, etc. She felt
possibly a figure of $350 a month would be a vehicle allowance that could be considered in terms of the City not having to lease a car.
Member Crawford asked how would they proceed from here. He asked if they would come back with a contract without that in it and consider that at a near future date?
Mayor Clark said it could be done now.
Member Crawford said that Caryn Collens, Executive Director of S.W.O.C.C., received $100 a month car allowance and it should probably be more because she is out of the office on the road.
Member Crawford proposed that would be an appropriate allowance considering several night meetings and other responsibilities over and above the normal commute back and forth to work.
Member DeRoche thought that it would be unwise for her to take that offer because she would make more in mileage.
Member Bononi recommended she not take the car allowance either. This will be revisited.
Ms. Cornelius said she felt it was important for Municipal Clerks to be involved in the legislative process. That happens in Lansing and as part of her Presidency this year and previous years they have been very active with lobbyists and Council of Election Officials which is a member of County, City, Village and Township Clerks. They meet at a minimum of once a month to go to Lansing just to make sure that legislation in the form of unfunded mandates is not being foisted on municipalities. She said they had met with legislative aids to Senators McMannis and Bennett about one of these issues of unfunded mandates or the possibility of election consolidations, which would mean that municipalities would be taking on additional responsibility of running another election.
Mayor Clark asked for consensus that Ms. Cornelius would be reimbursed mileage when engaged in those activities. There was consensus of Council.
Ms. Cornelius said is it her understanding then that the offer is to either use a City vehicle or to obtain the mileage.
Mayor Clark said that is correct.
Member Csordas suggested putting the wear and tear on the City vehicle. Ms. Cornelius said the IRS would probably never realize that the per mile cost is probably between 45 and 50 cents.
Member Crawford said they certainly wanted her to be a part of the team and felt it would be more than appropriate when revisions are made, to fight for what she thought a City Clerk needed to be compensated for at that time. Ms. Cornelius agreed.
Mayor Clark said the next step is to have a proposed contract of employment drafted with copies to Council and the City Clerk. If the contract is agreeable then arrangements would be made to sign it.
Member Crawford asked if that would be done by the meeting of the 17th?
Mayor Clark said yes. He asked Ms. Cornelius when she would be available?
Ms. Cornelius said May 1st.
Ms. Gronlund-Fox said she would contact the City Attorney Monday morning with this information.
Ms. Cornelius said she looked forward to working with Council.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION – None
There being no further business before Council, the meeting was adjourned at 1:20 PM.
Richard J. Clark, Mayor Nancy Reutter, Deputy City Clerk
Transcribed by: _________________________
Date approved: April 17, 2000