The Grafton Township board cemented its decision to hire Pam Fender as township administrator by approving a contract with Fender this week.
The township trustees hired Fender, a Huntley village trustee, in February to circumvent Supervisor Linda Moore, with whom they are constantly at odds.
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Since then, Fender and Moore have continually clashed, with Fender filing a police complaint against Moore after they fought over a copy machine and with Moore asking a McHenry County judge to essentially grant her permission to fire Fender.
Not surprisingly, Moore voted against Fender's contract.
"There is no other employee of the township that has a contract," Moore said. "I think it's another waste of the taxpayers' money."
Fender said she has no issues with the contract but that it could be moot in a matter of weeks if a judge affirms Moore's attempt to fire her.
"If the judge decides I'm fired, it doesn't matter. The contract is null and void," Fender said. "I'm very depressed about the potential of losing my job."
In approving the contract, trustees also gave Fender, who has been on the job less than two months, a raise, increasing her annual salary to $40,000 from $35,000.
Fender also draws $100 from the village of Huntley for every village board meeting she attends.
Among the other provisions of the contract:
• The deal runs until May 20, 2013.
• Fender is prohibited from holding another job during her tenure as administrator.
• The board can give Fender a raise based on her annual performance review.
• Fender's pension would depend on how many years she is employed by the township and her salary during her last four years. For example, if she is employed eight years at $40,000, she would receive about $5,300 annually in retirement; if she stays for 15 years at that salary, she would get $10,000. Fender will not be able to receive these benefits unless she holds her position for at least eight years.
• The township will pay Fender three months' severance pay if she is terminated without cause. This was reduced from the 10 months originally proposed. Fender will not receive severance if she resigns.
• Fender, who says she already receives partner benefits, will receive full medical coverage.
The lawsuit concerning Fender's employment is next scheduled for a hearing on May 10.