By Amanda Ensinger
Franklin Township has hired a township administrator, despite hesitation from a trustee. At a recent meeting, the board approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with new Franklin Township Administrator Mark Potts.
All of the trustees voted in favor of the MOU, however during previous meetings trustee Ralph Horn opposed creating the position or hiring an individual to fill it.
“This has nothing to do with Mark or his abilities,” Horn said. “My hesitation has to do with our budget and our remaining balance for 2019. I have been opposed to bringing in an administrator because I feel using these funds will make us really squeezed for the rest of the year.”
Previously, Horn voted no to the creation of the position and to filling the position, but said he voted yes to the MOU because the other trustees already had voted in favor of the position and the hiring of Potts.
“I really haven’t changed by mind, but Mark was already hired, so there wasn’t much I could do,” Ralph said. “I had asked the other trustees if we could delay the hiring of an administrator until the first of next year, but they wanted to do it immediately.”
Potts will be paid an annual salary of $65,000 a year and will receive vacation, sick time, a cell phone and health and life insurance. His total compensation package including benefits will be approximately $95,900.
The funding for the administrator position will come from a combination of the general fund and money formerly allocated for the administrative coordinator who was paid approximately $34,320 a year. After eliminating that position earlier in the year, it freed up additional funds to create the position of administrator.
While Horn has concerns over the funding, Franklin Township trustees John Fleshman and Aryeh Alex say they are not concerned about the township’s budget.
“The person that takes this position knows it may only be temporary as well,” Fleshman said. “If we don’t have the funds to support this position in a year or year and half, we may need to eliminate it and all applicants are aware of this. However, for at least the next year we have the funds to support this.”
The MOU between Potts and the township has no end date and Fleshman said he is confident they will have the funds to continue the position past the end of the year.
“We definitely have funding for the next 15 months or so,” Fleshman said. “If our revenue stays at what it currently is, we should have the funding to continue the position past this timing.”
Alex said that the fiscal officer has assured the trustees that there are funds for this position.
“The fiscal officer said we have the budget for this and the general fund can handle it,” Alex said. “Because of that, I am voting in favor.”
Potts said he is excited for the opportunity to serve the community.
“I look forward to showing the residents how the position of the township administrator can be an effective advocate on behalf of the township and its residents, and help the township move forward into the coming years,” Potts said.