Salem Town Board seems happy with salaries, mileage practices

The Salem Town Board seemed content with current practices on salary and mileage reimbursement for its members at Monday’s regular monthly meeting.

Both practices were raised for discussion by town Chairman Linda Valentine.

Regarding salaries, Valentine pointed out that no adjustment in Town Board members salaries was made when Patrick Casey — the town’s first administrator — was hired about two years ago.

“There was no change in supervisor salaries,” Valentine said. “Maybe there should have been.”

But other board members defended the current salary. When Valentine asked Supervisor Dennis Faber what he thought of his salary Faber replied “I don’t think it’s been enough the last two years.”

Valentine was elected chairman in 2009.

Supervisors make $7,500 a year. The chairman’s salary is $15,000 a year.

Valentine brought up mileage shortly after, saying she did not feel it was appropriate to claim mileage for in-town travel. She also said she objected to a recent mileage claim for $245 by Supervisor  Joseph Meier.

Meier, a supervisor since the mid 1980s, said he never used to claim in-town mileage, but was told by an earlier town clerk that others on the board did. He started doing so, using more of an estimate of miles and usually coming up with about $180 a year.

But, Meier explained, after Valentine complained about his report he began tracking mileage more precisely. The result was his claim was higher — $245 for last year.

“So I thank you,” Meier said to Valentine.

Other supervisors said they supported the practice, even if they didn’t follow it.

“If you’re doing town work, you’re doing town work,” said Supervisor Patrick O’Connell, who added he does not claim mileage.

Said Supervisor Dennis Faber: “I don’t see a big problem with this. I don’t think the citizens would.” Faber also said he does not routinely claim mileage.



  1. dj says:

    Faber would be wrong. If only he were to ASK instead of ASSUMING what the citizens have a problem with, he might actually have a clue.

    A lot of companies are doing away with mileage. For example, I cannot claim mileage for anything less than 75 miles one way FROM THE OFFICE, not from my home. He doesn’t think his salary is enough? Join the rest of us people on planet Salem, bud. Why should we give you a pay raise? I got a whopping 0.1% payraise this year – the first in 4 years. That was to make up for the 25% increase in the deduction from my paycheck for health insurance.

    Meier is in it for Meier. Ever heard him go on at a meeting? He seems to lord over everyone the fact that he is a supervisor and his house is paid for, he has retirement, etc. Who cares? This from the one person on the board who refuses to get an email account so that people can actually communicate with him other than by phone, which he rarely answers. And the person who is proud of the fact that he only reviews the meeting package immediately before the meeting. Yup, sounds like thorough preparation to me.

    Why is Valentine even bringing this up? Does she live in the real world? What have they done to warrant increasing salaries besides increase our taxes and make a mockery of board meetings? If we put a bunch of high school students in their place, I daresay that they would perform better, act more like adults and get better results.

    The bottom line is that the board may be content. Did they ever make an effort to see if the citizens are content? I already know that the answer is a big, fat NO.

  2. v says:

    oh, v lives in the real world alright..
    thinks the board wages should be CUT …

    “Regarding salaries, Valentine pointed out that no adjustment in Town Board members salaries was made when Patrick Casey — the town’s first administrator – was hired about two years ago”…

  3. dj says:

    Interesting that Meier used “more of an estimate” to come up with his mileage. If I tried that, my employer would reject my claim. No proof, no mileage. And let’s see how he withstands an IRS audit with no proof. I’m sure that the IRS would be happy to “estimate” his penalties.

    For a supposedly educated man, he certainly doesn’t seem very informed about documentation requirements set by law.

    They all need to go. Maybe the senior class at Central should be running the town.

  4. chris says:

    Is Linda Valentine willing to take a cut in pay IF she gets back on as Town Chairman??? The supervisors should be getting paid double of what they are now, especially considering that the meetings now have gone completely out of control as a matter of length of a meeting. I pity the employees that are salaried that have to give up many hours a month to listen to bickering. I don’t think any employees attending meetings should be getting overtime for attending those meetings – some of them are lasting 4 hours! Shame on Valentine for not getting off of her soap box long enough to take care of business.
    Right now, it seems like you have the “drama club” running Salem’s meetings – how ’bout a real adult run the meeting – Salem doesn’t need all this drama. Geez – the Board members need to grow up – all of them. Considering all of the horrible things happening throughout the country, maybe the Chairman should stop all the bickering.

  5. Chris Skrzynecki says:

    What some call ‘Bickering’ others call ‘Chalanging the status quo’. All that Linda Valentine has done over the years, and this includes her years in the audience, was to question the way things are run or to be more specific, left to run on their own with little or no oversight. Every time she brings up a topic, weather it’s someting on the adgenda or not, it’s because she saw somthing that didn’t look right to her or something that she feels can be improved on or done for less money. She also will bring up or put on the adgenda most any thing that a salem resident might have asked her about. As someone who has asked her a question or two in the past couple of years, I have seen her go out of her way to find the answer.
    The existing board, (linda excepted) has been together for so long that they problaby can read each others minds. Either they have already disscussed things before hand (which is illegal by the way) or just vote against which ever way linda is voting.
    Why wasn’t the new town safty building put to a referendum? Why have expense reimbursements gone unchalanged? Should the town be paying for booze? These along with dozens of other things are Challanged by linda. Sure, sometimes she’s wrong, but most of the time she’s right. These things need to be out in the open.
    As for long town meetings, that’s the price of OPEN goverment. If you don’t like it, …………………….

  6. strat says:

    “Challenging the status quo”, boy have you been hood winked,,,, i call it mindless babble,,,,,,,,,doesn’t matter, she’ll be put out to pasture come april 15th

  7. Jim V says:

    I think the town electors are being hoodwinked.

    The tax levy for the TOS is $3.4 Mil. $850,000 is sitting in the bank doing nothing. We are over taxed now and have been for years.

    Why do we have a $500,000 set aside for a fund balance in capital Improvements when there is only one line item for $600,000 in the budget. And the $600,00 is a cost overrun because of bad Engineering when the previous Chairman pushed the building through withouit a referendum.

    The town Board, except Linda, approved this Budget.

    The town just signed an agreement with Paddock Lake for fire/EMS service. The electors of TOS are subsidizing that service as Paddock lake pays less than a TOS resident does for the same service. The Board passed it, except for Linda. But the electors just don’t seem to care.

    I have been trying to figure out how the electors of TOS think. But I don’t get it. I guess they just like paying too much money in taxes. You could have had your taxes reduced by 25% this year but you said no. I guessed you like being overtaxed.

    Linda has been fighting this for 2 years but you don’t seem to care.

    Your loss.


  8. dj says:

    Never overlook the shear stupidity displayed by people in large groups, Jim. These are the same people who:
    1. Killed a referendum to build a new grade school building that would have resulted in a net DECREASE in taxes
    2. Recalled the members of the school board who advocated the referendum and reduced taxes.
    3. Elected and RE-ELECTED school board members who increased taxes every year, burned through an 8 million savings account and then went to the people asking for more money.
    4. Had a special meeting to reinstate salaries for high school board members who had done nothing but bungle the whole alternate drive way issue.
    5. Go to town board meetings complaining about increasing taxes and bungling board members, yet consistently knock out in the primaries anyone who wants to make changes.

  9. dj says:

    Oh, yes.
    6. Voted to fund a many million dollar project (was it 12 million?) for the grade school to add 8 classrooms to an existing monstrosity of a building, when they could have had an entire new school for 3 million. All that when enrollment is declining.

  10. salemethics says:

    Real nice! Now Valentine and company are making a mockery of the electors of the town because they may or may not agree with you/her. Pathetic!

  11. dj says:

    Pathetic is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. No, wait. That is insanity. How come I don’t see YOUR name, salemethics, on any ballots?

  12. jc says:

    I see no reason why the board shouldn’t take pay cuts at this time. We all have had to make adjustments in our living with our economy.
    As far as someone making the statement about how many more meeting they go to is part of being a board member. If they stop fighting and FINISH things on the agenda so it wouldn’t be on it again. In the past thats how things were done, put it off till people forget about it or give up.Well we are tired of that and for the 1st time we have a Chair who is willing to GET US ANSWERS. Someone who don’t just go to monthly meeting to get a check. Someone who fights for whats right. And if that makes me a “valentime company” as stated here I think I’m in good company .To blame Linda for the meetings being so long is just plain wrong. I see four other members there who won’t in any way shape or form even listen to anything she brings up Seems they need to work at whats BEST for this town .Change is needed

  13. chris says:

    I stand by my comment that the Board members should not take a cut. For heaven’s sake, now, they’re having meetings on Saturdays! Linda Valentine has brought on this whole lawsuit to the Town. Anyone who says differently doesn’t pay attention. Yes, the other board members are to blame for not stopping her, but, she didn’t listen to the Wisconsin State Attorney General, what makes people think she’s going to listen to Town Board members? Does this new town administrator, who happens to be making a LOT of money, not know that law? Read the flippin’ State Statutes! Holy Cow – I pity us taxpayers if the administrator AND Linda Valentine remain employees of the Town. Our taxes will double only for attorney fees to fight something that never should have been allowed to happen. Shame on all of us for allowing this dictatorship to happen.

  14. RetroJ says:

    Valentine needs to go. Vote on the 5th.

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