West Chester’s long-time administrator is set to remain in the role for another five years.
Trustees here have approved an employment agreement with Judi Boyko, one that runs from next Friday until Dec. 31, 2020, as part of a non-agenda item that came following a closed-door executive session Dec. 15.
Trustee Mark Welch said the contract is well deserved and well overdue.
“In the 10 years that Judi has been the administrator here in West Chester Twp., she’s had a raise three of those years,” Welch said. “Judi is the glue of the township. She holds things together, she keeps the trustees informed, she keeps us looking good.
“Without Judi here, I don’t think we’d be the same township.”
Under the contract, Boyko’s salary will be $152,000, a nearly 13.7 percent raise. Her last salary adjustment came in 2009 as part of a 3.5 percent raise to $133,736.
“It comes with what on the surface looks like a significant raise, but when you look at the numbers, I think there’s not actually enough for where she should be,” said Trustee President George Lang, who called Boyko “part of the fabric of the community.”
Trustees previously attempted to give Boyko a raise but she repeatedly declined such offers, both when employees received no raises during the recession, and then 1 or 2 percent raises following it.
“Judi said, ‘I cannot, in good faith, take a raise’ not even when we were giving one and two percent raises,” Lang said. “She wouldn’t even take a one or two percent raise just to keep up with the employees. Had she gotten just a 3 percent increase, when you factor in compounding, she’d be making a salary of over $155,000 today.”
And when it comes to administrators, “there’s not better in southwest Ohio,” Lang said.
“What she does for our community is amazing,” he said. “The township is fortunate she’s been here this long.”
Lang said the contract extension was a trustee-initiated move.
“This was not Judi’s idea,” he said. “As a matter of fact, she was reluctant when we first approached her with this idea, and it was basically the trustees saying, ‘No, this is what you deserve and this is something we want to move forward with.’”
Trustee Lee Wong agreed, lauding Boyko for successfully managing a budget of over $16 million.
“Judi is definitely a top value, high-quality employee, and we do not want to lose her,” Wong said. “With her hard work and diligence, (she helped) this township to get financially sound with AAA Moody bond ratings. That is so important.”
Boyko’s health care insurance is part of the contract, but she will continue to pay for that herself as she has done in all previous years, township officials said.
Upon completion, the contract automatically renews for a one-year term “for an indefinite period of time or until such time as replaced by a new agreement.”
In the event Boyko stays out the agreement, she will receive a $25,000 retention bonus payable Jan. 1, 2021 or, if she chooses, deposited into an individual retirement account. That bonus was part of a previous agreement, as well.