Highland agrees to IT director’s salary after debate; Ed Dabrowski to make $92K a year

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The Town of Highland’s Files Technology director now has a wage to rob firm with the living but debate over his wage persisted Monday, collectively with attempts to decrease it.

The Town Council in the end voted 4-1 — with Councilman Mark Herak, D-2, casting the dissent — to approve Ed Dabrowski’s $92,000 per 365 days wage. Earlier than balloting on the ordinance, nonetheless, Herak first supplied an amendment that could decrease the wage to $64,000 per 365 days, roughly what Dabrowski became once making as the IT individual for the Town of Griffith.

Herak said his stream would bring Dabrowski’s wage in-line with others across the county. It failed to salvage a 2d.

Herak then proposed an amendment that because Dabrowski’s wage is the third-top in the advantage of Highland Police Chief Pete Hojnicki and Public Works Director Mark Knesek, Dabrowski wouldn’t be eligible for any raises in 2022. Councilman Mark Schocke, R-third, wondered if that became once “stunning” according to old practices.

“I believed there became once a member of the Clerk-Treasurer’s place of work that became once a contract employee who became once eligible for a raise, but I could properly be injurious,” Schocke said. “I’d mediate we’d treat folks equally, and if it’s stunning for the Clerk-Treasurer’s place of work, it will soundless be stunning for others.”

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Herak’s 2d stream failed 3-2, with Councilman Tom Black, R-4th, balloting with Herak.

The final role Herak expressed became once whether or now not Dabrowski could be allowed to poke the Police Division’s IDACS system, to which Dabrowski said that he’d spoken to the Indiana Files and Communications System’s Space 1 liaison, Donna Decker, and she confirmed he could.

Over the route of Dabrowski’s hiring, Schocke, Herak and Black identified that Council President Roger Sheeman, R-5th, first said they were going to advertise the living then didn’t, apart from didn’t consult with them about the resolution to take be conscious of simplest Dabrowski. Emails the Put up-Tribune requested by an Fetch admission to to Public Files Act request endure out their considerations.

Sheeman despatched simplest two emails to the council relating to Dabrowski: one on June 28 instructing that they’d be speaking about hiring Dabrowski, and a 2d one admonishing the council because they wanted to advertise the living publicly.

“Because of a pair of of you wanted to advertise for the IT Director job, Ed has withdrawn his software to be IT Director. Meaning the police Dept has no Fleshy time IT individual, which method we’re going to have the option to want to rent an outsider and employ considerably extra than if we made Ed the IT Director,” Sheeman wrote in the Aug. 5 e-mail.

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“It frustrates me (that) most of us agreed to rent Ed for the living, and then said ‘Let’s advertise for the living.’ Now we now have this distress.”

Sheeman went on to repeat that Dabrowski became once concerned his living with Griffith could properly be jeopardized if Highland’s IT living were marketed and reminded the council it promoted Knesek to Public Works Director with out exterior marketing.

“It’s time for a Town Manager,” Sheeman wrote. “Now that a pair of of you precipitated this distress, web a vogue to fix it.”

The council also well-liked its proposed 2022 town budget of $18.3 million, up from its $16.5 million final budget in 2021. The budget, of which simplest 21 funds out of a total of 69 are incorporated in the technique, entails $8.3 million for the long-established fund, $2.5 million for the parks fund, $848,127 for the Police Pension Fund and $305,443 for the Redevelopment Capitial Fund, Clerk-Treasurer Michael Griffin said.

“Endure in mind that Highland is simplest half of the total district charge for taxing capabilities,” Griffin said in an e-mail. “Our aggregate charge comprises Lake County, North Township, Lake County Library District, Lake County Solid Damage District, School Town of Highland, civil town of Highland, Highland Sanitary District and Highland water district.”

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Griffin and Herak, who basically labored with the department heads on the budget, advised the council that they constantly location the figures on the utmost levies allowed by the deliver since the deliver’s Division of Local Authorities Finance will inevitably trim the budget down. They opinion to talk about additional crucial functions on the Oct. 18 search session.

Schocke, who went by the budget route of as council president in 2021, said he “wasn’t following all the pieces because (the technique) isn’t dusky and white” and that he wants there became once extra transparency in crafting the budget because it appears to be like care for simplest Griffin and Herak are sharp. Sheeman said it’s a “public route of” and that he could be to distress any desire on the search session.

Schocke said he had the identical criticism final 365 days and feels as if he became once shut out.

“It frail to be that we could meet on Saturdays with the department heads so every person who wanted to be there could properly be, but we bought a ways from that,” Herak said. “We are in a position to delivery meeting on Saturdays but but again.”

Michelle L. Quinn is a freelance reporter for the Put up-Tribune.

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