The West Chester Twp. trustees doled out $10,696 in raises to their two top leaders saying they have earned their keep during very challenging times and moved the township in a positive direction.
Township Administrator Larry Burks, who is in his fifth year at the helm of the state’s largest township, received a 4% pay bump of $6,088, bringing his annual salary up to $158,282. Assistant Township Administrator Lisa Brown got a $4,608 raise — also a 4% hike — making her annual earnings $119,826.
When they approved the raises Trustee Mark Welch told the pair to “continue to execute with excellence.”
“We have an amazing administrative staff here, CEO’d by Larry and Lisa your impact on this community is just amazing” Welch said. “It was a tough year with the inflation the way it was, but you guys deserve it and we’re glad to give it, we’re glad you’re here and we want you guys to be happy.”
Last year Burks received a 3.17% pay bump and Brown received 3.8%.
“We have top-notch administration,” Trustee Lee Wong said.
Trustee Ann Becker also told the Journal-News their leadership team is “top notch.”
“The community has benefitted by having both of our team leaders in place, Larry and Lisa work together in a very cohesive way to lead not only our government as whole but their department heads in particular,” Becker said.
In years past, the trustees have completed a performance evaluation for Burks — he reviews Brown’s performance — but Becker said they didn’t this year.
She said she gave Burks a goal of moving the organization to “a more project management based presentation.”
“Sometimes our projects can have senses of urgency and details can be scattered,” she said. “So I asked for a more project management focused goal for this year. Just to take us up to an even higher level of performance for our taxpayers.”
Welch told the Journal-News Burks and Brown “really move the ball down the field” and 4% was something they “earned and deserved.”
Last year he told Burks to make some improvements on his responsiveness and attention to detail. He said he has improved in those areas and he wants him to continue working on his strengths.
“One of his strengths is economic development,” Welch said. “He doesn’t mind traveling, he doesn’t mind going to shows and getting out there and being present in the Cincinnati and Dayton marketplaces. I want him to continue to put West Chester’s best foot forward and represent the township.”
As for Brown he said she is an “exceptional” person and told her “to keep doing what you’re doing.”
Each year the township awards a pool of money to be distributed for merit pay for the other non-union employees. Last month they approved a 4% pool or $195,737 for 80 employees. The amount also includes $12,040 for raises for part-time firefighters and inspectors. An individual cannot receive any more than 4.5% in performance pay.
Last year, the merit pay pool for non-union employees was 3.5% or $160,638 for 87 positions.
In her report to the board Brown said the raise program comports with market trends and “the township’s financial reserves are stable and West Chester’s financial solvency in 2023 places it in a position to award merit performance increases.”