Oakland County commissioners will consider next week whether to give the commissioners taking office next year a one-time $500 payment in January.
Some commissioners serving on the Human Resources Committee, which will consider the proposal on Wednesday, Aug. 29, want to stop the taxable $500 payment from going to county commissioners.
Because Oakland County officials have been coping with budget difficulties the last several years, county employees have taken a pay decrease of 4 percent total during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 fiscal years.
The one-time $500 payment would be made to them during the first quarter of the new fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2013, under the $796-million budget proposal put forward by county Executive L. Brooks Patterson.
Judges, whose salaries cannot be changed except through amendment to state law, would not receive the $500 payment, nor would unionized employees.
All full-time, non-unionized employees would receive the payment, including countywide elected officials Patterson, Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Water Resources Commissioner John P. McCulloch, Treasurer Andy Meisner, Prosecutor Jessica Cooper, and Clerk/Register of Deeds Bill Bullard, Jr.
“Heck, we’re part-time,” said Commissioner John Scott (R-Waterford, West Bloomfield), the chairman of the Human Resources Committee. “Why are we getting this $500? I’m just hoping that the whole committee, Republicans and Democrats, will vote to amend this resolution to remove that.”
Commissioner Craig Covey (D-Ferndale), noting that he hadn’t heard of the effort before, said his initial inclination would be to not support an effort to strip out the $500 one-time payment for commissioners from the resolution, saying that since it’s for all non-union employees, the commissioners fall into that category.
Covey lost in the Aug. 7 primary election to Commissioner Helaine Zack (D-Huntington Woods) and would not receive the $500 payment.
The 25-member county commission will lose four slots next year following the passage of a new state law approved in 2011. With a 21-member county board, the $500 one-time payment to each commissioner would cost the county $10,500.
Oakland County commissioners serve two-year terms and are currently paid $32,093 per year.