Board recommends boosting treasurer salary

Marie Havenga • Feb 14, 2018 at 2:00 PM

The Spring Lake Township Board has recommended a raise for the township treasurer position — but the supervisor, clerk and trustee salaries will remain the same.

However, it's not up to the board members to decide.

Spring Lake Township residents will cast the deciding vote at the township’s annual meeting of the electors, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 26 at Township Fire Station No. 2, 18964 174th Ave.

Since Township Treasurer Jim Koster will be spending more time at his job, Township Supervisor John Nash said he feels a raise for Koster is justified. Nash said Koster no longer works another full-time job and will have more time to devote to his treasurer duties.

There's also a strong possibility that Spring Lake Township and Spring Lake Village will be combining their tax bills. Instead of sending out two separate bills for the summer taxes, the amounts residents owe for both village and township taxes would appear on one statement. The township would receive 1 percent of each village tax bill as compensation for administrating the village's tax payments.

The township has already approved the collaboration. Village Council is expected to vote on the proposal at its Feb. 19 meeting.

“(Koster) is going to retire and wants to spend more time,” Nash said. “And he will be doing taxes for the village. There is a fee involved for doing the taxes, which will go to Jim's salary. The village and township have done an almost perfect job of collaborating, and we just keep doing things.”

The Township Board has recommended that trustee pay ($6,000 per year) remain the same. Trustees received an increase from $3,000 to $6,000 last year.

“They hadn't gotten a raise in a long time,” Nash said. “It's difficult to find people to run because you get so much crap from people. I'd just as soon compensate them and have a good board.”

Nash said he believes last year's raise will be sufficient for years to come.

“If we even talk about (another raise) in four years, I'll be astounded,” he added.

The board is also recommending that Nash’s salary also remain $15,600 for his statutory supervisor duties.

“I think it's reasonable,” he said.

Nash said he doesn't want anyone to run for the position in the future just for the money.

“I don't know how long I'll continue to run,” said Nash, 74. “I don't want somebody to run and only go to board meetings and make a bunch of money. I can envision someone running just for the pay and not doing much.”

Nash, who has served as township supervisor since 2004 and was a trustee prior to that, said he thought his last term was his final one.

“I was surprised that I ran again,” he said.

At this time, Nash said he's leaning toward running again in two years, even though he would be 80 by the time that term would conclude.

“That's pretty darn old,” he said. “But if I'm going to win a lottery, I want it to be the genetic lottery. I like to be involved and I think I'm making a difference. Every day, I get my hands together and say 'thank you' for another day. I could live 45 years more. I could live 45 minutes more. Who knows?”

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