11/07/11 With only a few days left until the voting polls open up on Election Day, a difference of interpretation concerning payments made to the Culver Clerk-Treasurer has led Republican candidate for the position, Karen Heim, and incumbent , Democrat Casey Howard,
sharing their views on the matter.
In what was reportedly a hand-delivered letter to the citizens of Culver, Heim claimed that Howard paid herself nearly $1,000 in longevity pay. Longevity pay is an annual bonus use to retain town employees.
Howard, who has held the job for six years, said she actually received $300 in longevity pay in 2009 and $400 in 2010 as mandated by the salary ordinance that was active at the time. Howard said the payments were paid upon the approval of the Culver Town Board. According to Howard, the action was mandated by the salary ordinance.
In a letter mailed to residents of Culver on Thursday, Howard said, “During the latest audit by the State Board of Accounts (SBOA) covering 2008 and 2009, no issues were reported. All payments made by the Clerk-Treasurer’s office require the approval of the Culver Town Board and are made in a transparent and ethical manner.”
Howard’s interpretation of how the practice of longevity pay being given to the Clerk-Treasurer differs drastically from Heim’s takes on the matter. Howard said, “In late 2010 the Culver Town Council decided to amend the policy to exclude the Clerk-Treasurer from receiving longevity pay as a matter of policy, not punishment.” Heim, on the other hand, implies in her letter that the Town Council members were perhaps not aware of the payments, Heim said, “When town council members learned what Howard was doing, they put a stop to it.”
Carol Anders Correspondent