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updated: 9/13/2012 2:25 PM

Salary cuts enacted for next batch of elected Avon Township officials

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Salaries for the next set of elected officials in Avon Township will be considerably lower, as officials followed through on a campaign promise nearly four years ago.

The 5-0 vote Monday by the township board and supervisor sets the salary structure for whoever takes office after the election next spring at 2008 levels -- the amount before the current administration took office.

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Also, those amounts will be reduced by 3 percent in each succeeding year. Salaries by law must be set 180 days before the election.

"I was advocating for a 30 percent reduction across the board," said Supervisor Sam Yingling, who took office in May 2009 on a platform of cutting salaries. "What you have here is the compromise."

For the four trustees positions, which will drop from $2,926 to $2,600 in 2013, the hit will be largely symbolic. But for other positions, the cuts are more substantial.

The highway commissioner and supervisor salaries will drop from $71,361 to $61,000, for example, a drop of nearly 15 percent. The assessor's pay will be slashed from $85,248 to $65,900, or about 23 percent. Because of a quirk, that decrease won't become official until Jan. 1, 2014.

The other affected offices are the township clerk, which will drop to $23,000 from $25,887, and the highway treasurer, whose pay will be cut in half to $500.

"It's definitely fair pay for the job, maybe a little on the lower end," township trustee William McNeill said in support of the compromise. He ran on a political slate opposite Yingling in 2009.

"If you do the job right, the way it's supposed to be done, I don't think it's out of line," he added.

Yingling said most township elected officials have been voluntarily returning pay increases and that he will personally have returned about $25,000 overall.

The action taken by the board also mandates that the next elected officials contribute to health care costs. First year savings will be about $60,000, Yingling said.

"This is consistent with the commitment we made to the taxpayers," he said. "We see too many governmental entities increasing salaries for elected officials."

Whether Yingling will be around for the decrease is undetermined as he is challenging Republican incumbent state Rep. Sandy Cole in the 62nd House District.

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