Pay considered for Charter Review Board

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A position on the Marysville Charter Review Board, as well as several other city boards, could soon be more lucrative.
Marysville City Council is expected to hear legislation to make a seat on the city’s Charter Review Board a paid position. The city already pays $50 per meeting for members of the planning commission, board of zoning appeals, civil service commission, parks and recreation commission and design review board.
Donald Boerger recently told the city finance committee that to “create continuity” he feels members of any board that meets at least twice a year should be paid.
“Any resident who serves on any board for the City of Marysville should be paid for their time any time they are serving,” Boerger said.
Council member Henk Berbee, who serves as finance committee chairman, said the matter came to his attention earlier this year.
The nine-member Charter Review Board is formed every four years to review the city charter and recommend any changes. The committee was recently formed and appointed by council.
Berbee said city officials assumed the position was paid like positions on other boards. Council approved $3,000 as part of the city budget to pay the members.
He said city staff sent IRS paperwork to members of the Charter Review Board so the city could pay them.
A member, who also served on the board four years ago, approached city officials asking about the pay. Officials began to research and determined that in the past, the board was a volunteer position.
City officials asked if the members could be paid and learned that without an ordinance like the one authorizing payment for other board members, the members can’t be paid.
“It is covered in the budget,” Berbee said. “The only place it isn’t covered is in HR’s (human resource) ability to actually pay them for the work they do because we have not adopted an ordinance.”
Berbee told the finance committee its two options are to continue with Charter Review Board as a committee of volunteers or to treat it “evenly” with the other boards and pay members $50 per meeting.
Boerger spoke in favor of paying citizens for their time. He said they can choose to forfeit their check, donate it to a city fund or keep it, but residents should have that opportunity. He noted that council members and city staff members are not paid for their time serving on committees or boards.
Council and finance committee member Alan Seymour agreed residents should be paid, noting the city is not a charitable organization and should expect residents to donate their time.
Human Resources Manager Brian Dostanko said that typically when the city advertises for committee or board members, there is mention of the pay. He said there was no indication the Charter Review Board members would be paid so they likely have no expectation of payment. He said that when the legislation to pay other boards was created, the Charter Review Board, “was not looked at like a normal board that meets regularly.”
He added that he thinks it is, “a nice touch for council to offer it.”
Finance Director Brad Lutz questioned finance committee members if they wanted residents on every board to be paid for every meeting. He said there is a wide variety of lesser board and commissions that meet.
Dostanko said he and other staff members will go through the various city boards and committees that include residents to see which ones pay members and which do not. He said he could have that report, “later on this year.”
Officials noted however that Charter Review Board has a meeting scheduled for March.
Dostanko said he would draft legislation for consideration at tonight’s meeting to address the Charter Review Board compensation.
Berbee said that $50 does not really cover the time board and commission members spend on their duties.
“At least it is a small token of appreciation,” Berbee said.



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