New Castle News

January 6, 2014

Go figure: Pulaski auditors told to file request for past wages

Mary Grzebieniak
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Pulaski Township auditors have to make a public records request if they want to know roadmasters earned in 2013.

Auditor Dan Abramson said he sent an email to Megan Allison, township secretary/treasurer, on Thursday requesting the wages paid to all three township supervisors.

Abramson was preparing for the auditors’ annual meeting, which is set for tomorrow. At that meeting, auditors set this year’s pay for township supervisors who work as roadmasters. Supervisors are not allowed to set their own wages.

But Allison’s emailed reply on Friday to Abramson stated, “Please be advised that after discussion with the Township Supervisors I was informed by the Board that the request does not fall under the scope of an auditor’s responsibility and therefore, you will need to make a records request for the document.”

Abramson will have to go to the township office, sign a request for the information and wait up to five business days before receiving it. He will also have to pay 25 cents per copy. 

Abramson said that he wants the figures because once auditors approve an hourly rate for roadmaster, the rate might mean a few hours or full-time wages.

“It could go from zero to $24,000 per year,” he said.

Abramson said he would like to see the total spent in 2013 on these wages so auditors “could set a reasonable amount.”

Supervisor Chairman Sam Varano said yesterday that the auditors don’t need to see last year’s wages. He said that according to the Second Class Township Code the supervisors will make a recommendation on the wages at their reorganization meeting today, which auditors can then accept or change. He said the code does not require auditors to do anything more than that. The code states “the board of auditors shall determine the compensations for the current year ... for supervisors employed by the township.”

Varano added that the supervisors will request $14.45 an hour which he said is the same rate they have received for approximately the last six years. He said he does not believe the amount places any burden on the township and added the hourly rate is the lowest or one of the lowest for any township in the county.

Varano said the three supervisors share the roadmaster position. He added he doubts the hours of all three together amounted to 40 hours for all of 2013. He said most of the work is done by the township’s two full-time and six part-time road workers and the supervisors work as roadmasters on an emergency basis. He said all three supervisors have full-time jobs elsewhere.

Varano also addressed Abramson’s and newly elected auditor Bruce Clingan’s recent criticism that the supervisors set the auditors’ meeting without consulting auditors. Varano said that Clingan was at the Dec. 2 meeting where supervisors set the time for the meeting and Clingan said nothing although there were three opportunities for public comment.

“It’s been 7 p.m. for the last 14 years,” Varano said.

Abramson and Clingan said they cannot make the 7 p.m. meeting and will meet instead at 1 p.m. tomorrow. No legal advertisement ran with a corrected time because supervisors informed Abramson that auditors would have to pay for a new ad and reimburse the township for the cost of the ad that ran.