Village grapples with wage rates for police clerks

Committee hits impasse deciding how to fill positions after dispatch consolidation
Ozaukee Press Staff

The Grafton Finance Committee reached a stalemate on Monday when members could not come up with a recommendation for the Village Board to determine the wage rate and amount of staff needed to fill new clerical positions for the police department as it continues to grapple with the move to a consolidated emergency dispatch system.

Last month, the Village Board sent the issue back to the Finance Committee because it wanted more information about how the police support specialist positions would affect the village’s tax levy.

Village President Jim Brunnquell said during the June 5 board meeting that he is concerned the savings the village would realize from having county employees handle emergency dispatching duties for the village would be reduced or eliminated if the village pays people in the new support staff positions the same as dispatchers. 

Six dispatcher positions will be phased out when the village transfers its dispatching services to the Ozaukee County Sheriff’s Office by the end of the year. While the Grafton Police Department will no longer have dispatchers, it will need employees to perform clerical tasks that were handled by dispatchers. 

According to Village Administrator Jesse Thyes, the police support specialist position was placed in a salary range of $36,391 to $49,217 per year. Currently, there are three employees that exceed the maximum pay grade. He also said more duties can be added to the position. 

During Monday’s meeting, Thyes said the village’s tax levy would be reduced by approximately $120,000 if there are five full-time support specialists.

Trustee Sue Meinecke said the amount of support staff was never discussed or voted on in previous meetings.

“We have a very talented professional staff and we need to ensure them,” she said.

Meinecke made a motion to recommend to the Village Board to approve the job description and wage rate, but it failed to pass with a deadlocked vote of 2-2.

Brunnquell and Meinecke voted in favor of the motion, and trustees Lisa Uribe Harbeck and Dave Antoine were opposed.

Uribe Harbeck made a motion to table the decision but that also failed with a deadlocked vote. Brunnquell and Meinecke both opposed tabling the issue.

Monday’s stalemate means discussion of staffing and wages goes back to the Village Board without a recommendation.



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