GODFREY - The Godfrey Village Board approved pay raises for all village employees, including full-time and part-time non-union employees, after some debate within the trustees at their April 18 meeting.

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The proposed raises would be flat dollar-amount increases each year for the next two years, affecting two categories of village employees: a raise of $2,600 per year for each non-union full-time staff member for 2023-2024, and a raise of $1,300 for one non-union part-time staff member for the same time period.

“This is a conservative and fair two-year wage increase recommendation for staff members who do their jobs well,” said Mark Cappel, Director of Human Resources for the Village of Godfrey. He added that this also allows budgets to be looked at/done in a more timely manner and gives village employees an idea of their salary over the next two years as the village seeks to retain employees.

Trustee Rick Lauschke disagreed with the two-year timetable of the proposed raises and said he believes they should be given based on performance, rather than flat dollar-amount increases for all employees. He also suggested conducting performance evaluations for village employees, a process he said could take three or four years.

“You’re going to give everybody, regardless of what they do, $2,600 - I just don’t agree with that concept,” Lauschke said. “I think people that are excelling out here should get better pay, and those that don’t shouldn’t get as good a raise. Because really, what do I have to do to get my $2,600? Just show up.”

Cappel responded by saying village employees do much more than “just show up.”

“I have to give these people credit - they’re just not showing up every day,” Cappel said. “They’re coming in and they’re doing their job and they’re doing it well - to me, that’s the incentive that they’re doing to get this increase. If someone begins to slack off, that’s the department heads’ responsibility to bring it to me, bring it to the mayor … I’m counting on department heads to hold their people accountable and that’s what they’re doing.

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“With coming in every day and doing their jobs to the best of their abilities, I truly believe this is a fair and conservative recommendation for those that are doing their jobs well, and that’s the entire staff of this building.”

Mayor Mike McCormick said the Village Hall staff is a “skeleton crew” that does a “damn good job.”

“We run this village on less of a payroll than most communities, and they do a damn good job,” McCormick said. “Every person here is an employee at will, and if they’re not doing their job, we get rid of them. We’ve done that with three different people since I’ve been Mayor, and right now I think we have a good staff in place.

“We don’t get any complaints from the residents. When they call, they get service, and that’s what this building’s here for - to service the people that live in the Village of Godfrey, and we’re doing a good job of it, and I don’t know why we want to rock the boat … now we’ve got the Human Resources guy saying everybody’s doing a good job here, but for some reason, some of us don’t want to believe that.”

Trustee Sarah Woodman said she didn’t believe performance evaluations coincided with the work that goes on at Village Hall, citing a smaller number of employees and a lack of complaints from the public.

“I’ve never gotten any complaint about any of the services that anyone has ever received out of this building,” Woodman said. “Anytime I’ve been here, people are very diligent about their work … I think we have a great group, I think we have a super group of employees. I’m amazed at how a building can coincide so well and everybody work for the betterment of the community.”

Trustee Virginia Woulfe-Beile said she believed the raises should be based on a percentage of current salaries rather than flat dollar amounts to better represent the hierarchy and responsibilities of the trustees’ offices. Trustee Karen McAtee added that some staff members getting higher raises than others could lead to contention around Village Hall.

The Village Board ultimately voted to approve the pay raises 5-1, with Lauschke casting the sole “no” vote.

A full recording of the April 18 meeting is available at the top of this story, on Riverbender.com/video, or the Riverbender.com Facebook page.

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