June 27, 2012CAPAC — With the appointment of a permanent police chief, the village subsequently lost their manager.
After council members voted to remove the 'interim' from Chief Heather Schneider's title and give her a $4 an hour raise at their June 18 meeting, Manager Chris Crary tendered his resignation saying he couldn't in good conscience support giving one employee a $7 an hour raise in six months' time.
Schneider, who took over the department in January, was given a $3 an hour raise at that time.
Crary said he found the incident to be troubling since most other village employees have received a nominal pay raise or none at all in recent years because the budget wouldn't allow for it.
"That's their right, but I can't agree to that, " Crary said of the council's decision.
This week Chris Crary will conclude his four-year career as Capac’s part-time village manager. photo by Maria Brown.
He said he's been instructed by village leaders to ask employees and union groups during contract negotiations to accept wage sacrifices because of budget woes.
Police and DPW employees will eventually get somewhere around a 20 cent per hour raise as part of their new three year contract which becomes effective July 1. A wage freeze is slated for year one of that contract. Clerk Candy Franckowiak and DPW Supervisor Ron Martin also agreed to a wage freeze as part of their three-year contracts which were approved last year. Earlier this year, the council approved a $1 per hour raise for the village's Treasurer Marilyn Price and bookkeeper Donna Wiloch.
Crary's contract was due to expire on June 30. He's been employed part-time with the village since 2008. At the time of his hiring, Crary was paid $18 an hour with no benefits.
Last summer, Crary declined a 50 cent raise that had been recommended by the personnel committee.
At the same time then-Chief Rick Zavislak was given a 20 cent raise taking his wage to $20.20 per hour. With her most recent raise, Schneider will be earning $23 an hour. The part-time job does not include any benefits. Liz Hargrave was the only council member to vote 'no' on the motion giving Schneider her raise along with a one year contract.
"There are some nice things going on here and I would have liked to be a part of it," Crary said of projects in the works, like the development of a new park and the construction of a new Family Dollar store downtown.
"I hold no ill will toward anyone. I wish them well."
President Mark Klug said he believes Schneider is deserving of her raise. She's been able to save the village money through various cost-cutting measures, he noted.
Schneider was the fifth person to work as Capac's interim chief since Raymond Hawks was shot and injured in the line of duty in 2008. The village chose to not renew his contract when it expired in 2010.
Klug said the council will discuss finding a replacement for Crary at their next meeting on July 16. Their July 2 meeting has been cancelled due to the Independence Day holiday.
In other council business:
•Following a public hearing, the council approved both the 2012-13 budget and amendments to the 2011-12 budget.
General fund revenues for the coming year are estimated to be $672,961, expenditures are estimated to total $672,461.
The current fiscal year should conclude with $671,358 in revenues and $651,468 of general fund expenditures.
•Sandra Cox, Neil Hargrave and Chris Beischer were re-appointed to the planning commission for three year terms ending July 17, 2015. Gary Konyha, owner of the Butchers Choice and Ron Gary, owner of Capac NAPA were appointed to the DDA earlier this month
•The village council and Mussey Township have agreed to host a regular meeting of the St. Clair County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 20
•Members accepted a bid from Can-U-Dig-It Excava-ting for $1,200 to do land leveling and other work at the village's future park property at Lester and Aldrich streets.
Maria Brown joined the Tri-City Times staff in 2003, the same year she earned a bachelor's degree in English from Calvin College. Born and raised in Imlay City, she now resides north of Capac where she enjoys working on the farm, gardening and reading.