The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees has approved revisions in the township’s personnel by changing the budget director position to a part-time role and adding a full-time finance director position.
The changes come following the death of long-time township Budget Director Steven Brideau on Feb. 14.
The measure was approved by a 4-3 board vote, with Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste, Treasurer Teri Weingarden, and Trustee Steve Kaplan voting against it.
Under the new structure, the finance director will report to the township clerk, while the budget director will report to the township supervisor.
Trustee Gene Farber said splitting the budget director responsibilities will increase efficiency so there won’t be conflicts.
“It was pretty clear that the position and the whole finance department were overworked with the amount of work needed to be done with the financial crisis,” Farber said.
According to a memo to board members, the current budget director salary is $141,682, including benefits.
The new finance director position will earn a total of $104,032, while the budget director will earn $41,804.
“Because of a lot of budget savings, we did approximately $1.5 million more in 2010 than we projected at the beginning of the year,” Farber said.
Ureste opposed the move, saying that the budget director position should be filled as normal because creating another position would increase legacy costs.
She added that Township Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy never mentioned a need to hire in the Finance Department prior to Brideau’s passing.
Farber said this move isn’t an attempt to grab power, adding that Brideau previously reported to the clerk on financial matters and to the supervisor on budget matters.
The board’s decision came at a Monday, March 7 meeting.