The Miami Twp. government has lost more employees following a series of terminations, resignations, leaves and now layoffs.
Assistant Administrator Greg Rogers went on leave on March 12, the same day that trustees Mike Nolan and Deborah Preston voted to lay off two road workers and a payroll clerk.
“The township has been working through budget constraints and had no choice but to make this difficult decision. We do not anticipate any more layoffs,” said Trustee Deborah Preston, who took over as board president in January.
To date, all but one assistant working in the administrative center has resigned. Two assistants are being replaced, while one assistant and the payroll clerk positions will not be filled, Preston said. Adminstrator Greg Hanahan and Deputy Police Chief John DiPietro were terminated last month.
Nolan and Preston said the cuts were necessary to offset projected budget shortfalls, including deficits anticipated following the failure of trash and police levies in November. Trustee Charlie Lewis has missed six of nine trustee meetings in 2013 while away from the area hauling truck freight, he said. Trustees are required to “attend all meetings of the board at which his attendance is required by that body,” according to the Ohio Revised Code. However Lewis’s absences have been excused.
So far, township records indicate the local government continues to have money on hand.
According to budget records, from 2010 to 2013, total funds available grew to just over $3.1 million. At the end of the year, $1.2 million will remain in the township’s general fund.
This year, general fund expenditures are expected to grow by about $150,000, to just under $2 million, and revenues are expected to dwindle by $300,000 to about $1.9 million, according to township records.
Budget shortfalls could come as levies expire, barring renewals by voters, and state funding is reduced, Preston said.
This year, debt from the township’s contributions to developments at Austin Landing and on Byers Road is expected to cost just over $1 million. Costs are expected to grow to almost $3.1 million in 2016 when the township takes on additional payments for work on Austin Boulevard and other economic development projects, according to township records.
“The short-term solution was to lay off. That will give us more time to decide if we want to raise taxes on our citizens,” Preston said. No other lay-offs are planned this year.
According to township records, the layoffs pared $129,601 in annual salary costs and $211,743 in total compensation. Township officials declined to release any records on Rogers’ leave. Preston said it was for medical reasons.
“We hope to have him back soon,” she said. Rogers did not return a call and email seeking comment.
Some administrative costs for the township have risen with the changes.
Acting Administrator Tracy Williams is being paid $10,000 a month to run the township, about what Hanahan earned in salary. And Hanahan will be paid his salary, plus other benefits, for the rest of the year, according to his termination agreement. The township also has hired an outside auditor for $5,000 a month and public relations firm for $35,000 over five months.
One of the laid off road workers, Junior Cope, said he had virtually no notice before being laid off — after almost six years with the township — effective immediately, on March 11.
“I think taxpayers are really in the dark in Miami Twp.,” Cope said.