Dayton approves wages for officials
That proposal was approved during the town's April 10 annual meeting.
"Unless there's a tornado or storms like we had last year, I wouldn't expect that we'd have any time," Town Chairman Chris Klein told the approximately dozen residents who attended the meeting.
The elected officials will be paid $15 per hour, plus expenses, when they are acting as town employees.
Wisconsin State Statutes allow elected officers - other than a town clerk or treasurer - who serve as town employees to be paid an hourly wage for serving as a town employee, not exceeding a total of $5,000 each year.
Statutes also allow for elected town clerks and treasurers to be paid an hourly wage when they serve as town employees, not exceeding a total of $15,000 per year.
Dayton's discussion was about setting an hourly wage for its chairman and supervisors when they are serving as town employees.
Several times last year, Klein and supervisors Bruce Golding and Glen Newsome helped clear roads and cut trees following storm damage in Dayton. They used their personal equipment.
"But, we don't have to take it, correct?" Golding asked Klein in regard to being paid an hourly wage when serving as a town employee.
Klein said he would not have to.
"I don't expect that we would get to that ($5,000) amount," the town chairman said.
Klein explained that the setting of an hourly wage for such circumstances is something that has to be done at an annual meeting of the town.
"Before, town officials (in Dayton) didn't get paid at all (in such circumstances) or volunteered," he said.
Several Dayton residents expressed concerns that elected officials could use the statute to do work that others are hired by the town to do, such as to mow lawn.
Klein responded that guidelines can be established.
Town Clerk Judy Suhs said that during her tenure, the people holding the chairman and supervisor positions have donated a lot of time when there have been emergency situations and that they would only use this in such situations.
"Last year, I donated a lot of time and equipment," Golding said. "It would be nice to get something for using our equipment."
Dayton resident Bob Ellis said that Klein, Golding and Newsome acted appropriately after last year's storms.
"I see no reason why people who spent extra hours should not be compensated," he said.
His wife Kay agreed, saying, "I think it's a great idea. They have over-extended themselves. It would be used only in emergency situations."
During the town's annual meeting, there was also a vote to set the date for the annual meeting to the third Tuesday in April, beginning in 2013, to comply with an amendment to state statutes that requires annual town meetings to now be held on the third Tuesday of April.
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