No bonuses this year for Clintonville employees
Performance-based bonus suggested for future
By Bert Lehman
City of Clintonville employees will not receive a bonus like they did last year.
Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland recommended to the Clintonville Finance Committee at its Nov. 12 meeting that it approve an end-of-year appreciation bonus for city employees. The bonus would have been implemented the same way it was implemented in 2017.
If approved, Eveland said each full-time city employee would receive $50, while year-round part time employees would receive $25. This would have included members of the Clintonville Fire Department who are in good standing.
“This is the same thing that we did last year,” Eveland said. “And I do get there’s some optic issues with the implementation of the salary schedule, but I feel we should still be doing this as a thank you to the employees who have worked as hard as they have worked this year.”
Committee member Jim Supanich asked if funds to cover the proposed bonuses are in this year’s budget.
Eveland said the bonuses wouldn’t be more than $3,000 and that the dollar figure is included in the 2018 year-end estimate.
At a public hearing to present the 2019 proposed budget to the public, Eveland said the city is projecting to use $60,000 from its undesignated fund balance to balance the 2018 budget.
Clintonville Mayor Richard Beggs told the committee that if the city does this every year, it’s really not a bonus.
“What’s the plan for the future?” Beggs asked.
Eveland said it would still be a bonus, and it is her intention to request it each year if the budget can sustain it.
The discussion turned to employees earning the bonus based on job performance.
Supanich said, “If you do it every year the same way, it’s just a supplement to their salaries, not a bonus. If you can tie it into some form of performance criteria that they have to meet, whether it’s training or other aspects of their job, and it’s contingent on them completing that portion of it in order to get the money, and if they don’t complete it they just get their basic salary.”
Having said that, Supanich recommended approving the bonus and implementing it like it was implemented in 2017, but then turning it into a performance bonus next year.
Committee member Brad Rokus told the committee that it’s not worth the city’s time to devise performance guidelines for a $50 bonus.
Eveland agreed with Rokus, and added that if the bonus is tied to performance, then the city is required to provide the bonus each year.
“What I’m saying is that I’m only going to come to you next year if the budget can sustain it,” Eveland said. “I don’t want the employees to have goals and then go to them and say, ‘Sorry, the city can’t afford it this year even though you met your goals.’”
She added that an alternative to paying a bonus is to give employees additional time off.
The request to give city employees a bonus of $50 for full-time employees and $25 for part time employees did not pass because the majority of the committee members present did not vote for it.
The vote was 2-1-1, with Rokus voting no, and committee member Brandon Braden abstaining from the vote.
At the Clintonville City Council meeting the following night, Eveland informed the council about the committee vote. No motion was suggested at the council meeting.