“Every case is different, not everyone is oh yeah, because I got a job I give you $10,000,” Wong said. “No, no it depends upon the value of the work. Not because anyone that put in an application someplace oh let’s give him a raise.”
Trustee Mark Welch said Dawson is a key member of the development team because he “interfaces” with the developers new and old, businesses and residents who want build new, expand or change their properties or need help with the zoning codes.
Welch said Dawson makes sure people know the township is “business friendly” and instead of just saying “we can’t do that” if a problem arises, will find a solution if possible.
“He is for a lot of intents and purposes the face of West Chester for a lot of these developers,” Welch said. “So it’s important we have somebody in there that has the right mindset, who has the right character and who is going to follow what we want to accomplish in West Chester.”
Trustee Board President Ann Becker also said Dawson is the face of the township for the development community and his work is “exemplary.” The township is embarking on an in-house salary study update this year, to make sure wages are still fair and competitive.
“The job market is getting tight not just for the private sector but for the public sector,” Becker said. “We have to make sure that we are keeping the best people on the team for West Chester. We need to make sure we’re paying what we need to pay to keep a high quality staff for the residents.”
About four years ago West Chester Twp. trustees commissioned a $45,000 study of township wages and benefits, because the township’s minimum pay ranges hadn’t changed in 10 years, and maximum pay ranges had stayed the same for seven years.
The Clemans Nelson study prompted the township to adjust the ranges and salaries were adjusted in 2018. Most positions on the lower end of the spectrum were not adjusted by much, but those at the director level were. The minimum wage range increased 16 percent from $68,800 to $79,976 and the maximum was boosted 17 percent from $106,801 to $125,070.
As a result of the range changes, several employees were given pay rate increases to get them back in the range for their position. The total impact was only $51,560 out of a total payroll of $18.5 million without benefits and $26.5 million including benefits.