Council approves pay raise for tax collector
A split Baldwin Borough Council agreed to give the town's tax collector a 24 percent pay raise next year that totals $2,400.
The salary increase is the first for the borough's tax collector in eight years.
Council members at a special meeting on Friday night, in a 4-2 vote, approved the pay raise, set to begin in 2014. Council members Bob Collet and Larry Brown dissented. Councilman Ed Moeller was absent. The borough's base salary for the tax collector is $10,000 this year. Council members discussed the pay raise for the last two months and were divided when it came time to decide.
“If we have to (worry) about $2,400, we've got big problems,” Councilman John “Butch” Ferris said.
Both municipal and school district officials were required to set their local tax collector salaries by Friday so that the information would be available to candidates seeking office in the May 21 primary, according to state rules.
Baldwin tax collector Gail Dobson Mikush submitted a letter of request to council in November seeking a “cost of living” pay increase for the position.
This pay raise will hold for the next four year elected term of Baldwin's tax collector, which runs from 2014 to 2017. The salary increase, divided over 12 years, equals about 2 percent a year, said Mikush, who has served as Baldwin's tax collector since 1984 and plans to seek re-election.
The tax collector's job is about more than sending out bills and has become a full-time job, Mikush said. A move by Baldwin officials to send out tax bills earlier in the year has nearly doubled the work-load, she said.
“I run this office on a shoe string budget,” said Mikush, who often does work at home and on the weekends. “I don't ask for anything.”
Some Baldwin council members questioned the 24 percent pay raise.
“It's too much money at one time,” Collet said, also questioning how the borough could give such a high percentage pay raise to the tax collector four years in advance.
Collet also noted that other elected officials in Baldwin have not had pay raises during this time period, he said.
This pay raise, too, will put Baldwin's tax collector at a higher rate of pay from the municipality than most others in neighboring towns, Collet said.
Moeller last week recommended council give the tax collector a graduated pay raise, spreading the increase out over the four years. His recommendation was to give an 18 percent bump in the first year, followed by 2 percent increases each of the following years of the term until 2017.
This plan would have bumped the tax collector salary to $11,800 in 2014, $12,036 in 2015, $12,277 in 2016 and $12,523 in 2017.
A motion for a graduated salary increase failed in a 4-2 vote on Friday, with council members John Conley, Ferris, Vice President Michael Stelamsczyk and President David Depretis dissenting.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Fundraiser to benefit Brentwood families battling cancer
- Pleasant Hills girl, 9, prepares for first marathon
- Baldwin-Whitehall schools to offer early retirements
- Column: Download music legally with library service
- Baldwin Borough officials consider online tax payments
- Former Baldwin officer argues pension was wrongly calculated
- Baldwin library event to kick off new campaign
- Brentwood school officials consider keeping band camp in-house
- Documentary detailing refugees’ journey to be shown in Whitehall
- Devices to track Baldwin Borough vehicles
- Roadwork closes part of Streets Run Road in Baldwin