IRON RIVER TOWNSHIP—Duties of the supervisor position were clarified at the May 8 meeting of the Iron River Township Board.
It had been brought to the attention of the county clerk that township Supervisor Mark Polley has been assuming the position of cemetery sexton as well as supervisor.
The change occurred after the former sexton resigned several months ago.
The township was informed by the county that this was considered an “incompatibility of office” and was not appropriate.
But, Polley told the board, the Michigan Townships Association had another opinion.
He said that the MTA representative stated that several other townships had similarly designated to supervisors additional responsibilities to help save money.
Township Attorney Steve Polich concurred, stating that the law allowed for the board to either designate Polley to run the cemetery under his supervisor duties or designate him the cemetery sexton.
Either way, he said, the township does not have a problem, noting it is very common to downsize township employees.
Trustee Ken Piwarski said that the cemetery had been in the red for a number of years and that cutting the sexton position was working well.
Clerk Amber Laturi said that the person or persons questioning the change was concerned that the job was not being done properly.
Polley responded that everything at the cemetery is “on the up and up.”
Polich also noted that small raise given to Polley last year, along with a few added hours given to township public works employee George Hibbard resulted in a substantial savings by cutting the extra position.
The board took no action and Polley will continue to run the cemetery under his supervisorial duties.
Piwarski also commented regarding the raise that Polley was given in 2011, noting that he had heard complaints about board members giving themselves raises.
That raise, he said, occurred at an annual meeting, after a motion from Art Hibbard and support from Carol Dallavalle, to increase the salary of the supervisor to match that of the clerk and treasurer. The motion had passed 10 to 5.
Polich agreed, stating that the decision to leave raises up to the people is a choice the board made and that Polley’s salary was set by the people.
“I’m not sure where these complaints are coming from, but perhaps they should address the township.” Polich said regarding the rumors.
GEI Consultant’s Jeff Bal updated the board on the township’s ongoing projects.
The MEDC water project was successfully closed out, he said, and the recently applied-for recreation grant applications are in a waiting mode until mid August.
Over 100 recreation grant applications were received by the state, along with 62 passport grant applications.
For more... get the Reporter online or at your newstand.