EDWARDSVILLE — Debate over the appointment of a department head dominated Wednesday’s Madison County Board meeting.
Granite City Democrat Michael Parkinson said when the board on March 15 appointed Kristen Poshard as director of the Community Development Department, he was operating under the assumption her salary was not being increased from her previous position as chief deputy administrator. Parkinson said the March 15 meeting minutes should be amended to reflect that the board did not vote on Poshard’s salary.
“The vote we took was merely in title,” he said. “There was no pay voted on.”
As chief deputy, Poshard was making $92,664 per year; in her new position, her salary is $100,500 per year — the same as her predecessor, Frank Miles.
County Board Chairman Kurt Prenzler said it’s a longstanding practice that when there’s no salary change, the board’s vote on the appointment sets the previous pay rate.
“This is the first time it’s been questioned,” Prenzler said.
Godfrey Republican Michael Walters supported Prenzler’s position.
“I’m sorry that you didn’t understand what you were voting on,” Walters told Parkinson. “We’ve done this for a long time … we did vote to give her a raise.”
With two board members absent, the board voted 19-8 to table the approval of the minutes until the May 17 meeting.
Prenzler denied Parkinson’s motion to refer Poshard’s salary to committee, saying the issue was not on the agenda.
In another department head decision, the board passed a resolution setting the salary of Emergency Management Director Todd Fulton at $72,500 retroactive to his hire date. A third-party audit within 90 days of Fulton completing his certification will determine if an $85,000 salary is appropriate, the resolution states.
Parkinson commended the bipartisan work of the Personnel and Labor Relations Committee to revise the resolution on Fulton’s salary, which originally would have increased his pay to $85,000. The appointment of Fulton, a retired Secret Service agent, prompted criticism from Democrats because his salary exceeded that of his predecessor, Larry Ringering. The board, on a motion by Collinsville Republican Lisa Ciampoli, reduced Fulton’s salary to $58,000 at its Feb. 15 meeting.
In other action:
• The board authorized a $134,000 loan for a walking path and bike trail project in Wood River Township, payable over a 5-year term at 3 percent interest. The funds are from the Metro East Park and Recreation District, a sales-tax funded entity that assists local governments with recreation projects. Half of the sales tax revenue goes to the district, while half goes to Madison and St. Clair counties.
• The board approved $165,277 in grants, paid for through landfill tipping fees, to assist local governments in meeting state recycling and energy efficiency requirements. Recipients include the city of Edwardsville, $15,000; Edwardsville Township, $15,000; Granite City, $15,000; and Wood River Township, $15,000.