For the first time in eight years, the mayor and board of trustees in Germantown Hills could receive a pay increase.

For the first time in eight years, the mayor and board of trustees in Germantown Hills could receive a pay increase.

Under an ordinance being drafted by the village’s attorney, the mayor’s salary would increase from $3,000 to $5,000 per year.

Trustees would now be paid $75 instead of $50 for each meeting attended.

Mayor Marv Johnson said the increase in trustees’ pay would only apply to regular and special board meetings, but not for any meetings with village staff.

However, it is hoped to also act as an incentive to attend meetings as a board representative.

“They would have to meet with certain groups like sewer or public safety that they act as board rep for, and then be prepared to give a report at the next board meeting,” Johnson said.

Johnson, who has led the village for more than 25 years, said trustees would not be paid for those meetings because they would be harder to track.

“Our only question was what other communities our size are paying their trustees, but considering the rate has stayed the same for eight years, I don’t think an increase is out of line,” Johnson added.

It was standing room only at a special meeting the village had Oct. 22 to discuss the mayor’s duties and salary.

Trustee Terry Quinn raised the question at a previous board meeting if the village was doing enough to address immediate issues and long-range planning, leading to a discussion about Johnson’s position possibly becoming part-time.

Quinn said the village has been trying to start talks with local companies about a future curbside recycling effort, but it has not been started yet.

He added the recent street problems and requests from the business association have also been slow moving because no one has time to devote to holding meetings or putting in the work hours.

“I think commercial development might have a lot to do with it. When we were a population of 500, it was probably easier to handle things, but now we have over 3,400 (residents) and can’t get to the important issues,” Quinn said.

“We have to provide more of a direct face to the public,” he added.

Trustee John Ford disagreed and commended village employees Ann Sasso and Rich Brecklin for their efforts.

“I think things run very smoothly and we can blame most of that on engineer or contractor problems. You can always get a hold of me on the phone, if not in person,” Ford said.

Johnson said the special meeting’s topic was not initiated to infer village employees are not doing their jobs well, but more to address what is not being done or needs more attention.

“I think it’s just more appropriate for our board members to be doing some things and have more responsibility, and not the employees,” he added.

Village attorney Greg Bell said the board would have to decide by the Nov. 13 meeting if the mayor would take on more responsibilities or additional staff would be hired, such as a village administrator.

Otherwise, Bell said the board would have to wait for four years to change the governmental process.

Most of the trustees agreed it was too short a time to make a decision.

“I think we are too late in the game to accomplish this right now, and if the issues are still troubling us down the road, we start to do research. We don’t have a course of action or time to develop it,” trustee Jim Booth said.

“I agree, I feel rushed into this,” Ford added.

Quinn added it was a shame the board did not start the discussion three or four months ago.

One resident at the meeting said the board should consider having people in the community volunteer to serve on committees about issues in the village.

Bell said if the mayor was interested, he could possibly appoint a citizens ad hoc committee to decide on matters such as parks or zoning.

The village will vote on the pay increase ordinance for the trustees and mayor at its Nov. 13 meeting.