Finance Committee recommendation

Health coverage would include mayor

City of Dillon Finance Committee Chairman David Spehar listens to a report from City Treasurer Ty Cobb at last Friday’s meeting in City Hall. J.P. Plutt photo

The Dillon City Council’s Finance Committee voted unanimously Jan. 31 to recommend extending health insurance benefits to new Dillon Mayor Mike Klakken as part of his annual compensation package.

Since Klakken’s election in November, some discussion had arisen about whether the city should or could afford to offer those benefits to Klakken in the middle of a fiscal year and due to his predecessor Marty Malesich having declined to receive health insurance and retirement benefits from the city.

The Finance Committee reviewed numbers submitted by the city treasurer that indicated offering Klakken health benefits would cost the city an additional $5042.70 over the final six months of this fiscal year, which runs through the end of June.

Under the city’s insurance policy, the city must adopt a resolution detailing the health benefits for an elected official. A resolution on the proposed health insurance benefits for Klakken was on the agenda for the Feb. 5 City Council meeting.

The Finance Committee also voted unanimously to recommend to the full City Council that the new mayor’s annual salary be $37,932.72, in accordance with the position’s Grade 6, Step 12 designation on the city’s payroll grid.

Klakken informed the Finance Committee that he was still deciding whether to ask for retirement benefits from the city.

The Finance Committee also reviewed the compensation package for new City Judge Shea Erwin, and voted unanimously to recommend to the full City Council that Erwin’s salary be $32,485.70. While that marks an increase in Erwin’s salary from her previous position as clerk for the city judge, she will continue to decline health insurance benefits.

If approved by the full City Council, the Finance Committee’s salary and benefit recommendations will require the passage of an amendment to the city’s budget for Fiscal 2013–14.

Klakken defeated Malesich in November’s election, when then-City Judge John Gutcheck won reelection. But with Gutcheck’s death a few weeks later, the city judge position was left vacant.

At a special City Council meeting on Nov. 25, Erwin, who was serving as Gutcheck’s clerk at the time of his death, was given a temporary appointment as city judge. The City Council made that appointment permanent on Jan. 8.