Germantown Hills Village Board members recently discussed and dismissed the idea of changing the mayor’s job status to part-time.


Germantown Hills Village Board members recently discussed and dismissed the idea of changing the mayor’s job status to part-time.

What was it before? It is not full-time.

Germantown Hills Mayor Marv Johnson is an elected official charged with a leadership role in the village. He also works a full-time job.

The same goes for village trustees.

Trustee Terry Quinn, during the Oct. 9 board meeting, said he has been “frustrated because it seems as if we can’t get things scheduled.”

He added that because they work full-time jobs in addition to their trustee positions, it is hard for them to be there all the time.

When looking at the structure of other area councils and boards, it is similar to a point.

Take Washington for example.

Mayor Gary Manier’s elected position is part-time, and he works full-time at Caterpillar Inc.

Yet, despite being able to rely on city administrator Bob Morris to oversee the day-to-day details, he is part-time in description only. He makes a point of being available, even if at times it is through e-mail and phone.

In addition to presiding at city council meetings, Manier is on the finance and personnel committee and is the city’s liquor commission.

He also meets regularly with city staff and residents who have a concern.

Johnson does the same. How many hours he puts in depends on what needs done.

Washington’s aldermen also have full-time jobs in addition to their part-time leadership roles.

Despite having work and family obligations, Washington’s leaders find time to meet with each other and city staff in committees — finance and personnel, public safety and public services — then report during council meetings.

During the Oct. 9 Germantown meeting, village attorney Greg Bell said the mayor’s job responsibilities would be expanded. The position would then include four main responsibilities: community relations, long-range planning, accessibility and taking on work when the rest of the village is overloaded.

Again, what was his job before? As the mayor, he is already addressing those issues.

The problem is, without a full-time administrator, day-to-day operations fall to the staff, mayor and the trustees.

And, if the structure of the board was to include committees that then report during the meeting, that would most likely prevent the village board from being overburdened.

In a standing-room-only special meeting Oct. 22, the board tabled the decision of changing the mayoral job description. See story on Page 1.

They did draft an ordinance to change their pay to $75 per meeting. Johnson said that the increase in trustees’ pay would only apply to regular and special board meetings. It would not apply to any informal meetings as a board representative with village staff.

However, Johnson added he hopes it would act as an incentive for trustees to attend those meetings regularly.

“They would have to meet with certain groups, like sewer or public safety ... and then be prepared to give a report at the next board meeting which they should be doing on a regular basis anyway.

As elected officials, they should be willing to do this anyway. That is how it works in neighboring communities

Germantown Hills is a growing community and its residents deserve more from its leadership.

If the job is too time-consuming or difficult, then maybe it is time for them to step down and let someone else do the job.

It would also benefit the village to have a full-time administrator who can manage day-to-day operations and report to the board.

As the community grows, so do its needs. And with that growth comes the responsibility to ensure the village and resident’s needs are met, even if it takes some extra time on the trustees’ parts.