ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.
Dorr Township Trustee Chandler Stanton just might have pooped the bed Thursday night at the board meeting.
Stanton, who was elected without opposition in the primary and general last year, spoke and voted in a controversial manner on a pay issue that easily could be interpreted as old-school sexism, better known perhaps as being a male chauvinist pig.
Stanton was politically incorrect when he insisted that Maintenance Supervisor Randy Grantham be paid more than Office Manager Vicki Fifelski. The Township Board was faced with a proposal to bump her pay from $18.70 to $20 per hour, and to grant an increase to Grantham from $19.50 to $20 an hour.
He told his colleagues he believes the maintenance guy’s work is more important, though Supervisor Jeff Miling suggested the comparison was between apples and oranges. Miling pointed out that Grantham had been employed with the township for less than two years while Fifelski has run the office now for eight years.
The supervisor also spoke highly of Fifelski’s performance over the years, adding she’d be difficult to replace and she has valuable skills in assessing. He editorialized that’s it’s difficult to work when not valued and provided fairness.
Interestingly, Miling noted that Grantham hired in at $18 an hour and already had been awarded a raise to $19.50 during his less than two years.
Regardless, after Fifelski’s raise was approved, Stanton moved to have Grantham’s bumped to $20.50, just 50 cents more, but significant in the message being sent to the office manager, as an employee and as a woman.
Whether intended or not, the message was that a man’s work is more important than a woman’s because I don’t believe that Stanton has any issues personally with Fifelski.
Personal issues in the Dorr Township office have been shown to have a troubling history, as Miling a couple of years ago noted animosity from Clerk Debbie Sewers and former Trustee Terri Rios caused problems and even had something to do with the assessor resigning.
Sewers herself commented that she wanted better communications from the office and cessation of hostilities.
I agree, but with apologies to Buffy Saint-Marie, “This is not the way to put an end to war.”
Dorr’s raises were loud, but Watson’s drew crickets
On another related note, it was interesting that there was a lot of open wailing and gnashing of teeth over employee raise proposals in Dorr Township, but nary a word was spoken while all Watson Township Board members and officials earned double-digit pay increases earlier this month.
Two of the raises reached a whopping 36 percent, for Clerk Kelli Morris and Treasurer Stephanie Caulder, who has been on the job only since December. This reminds me of the quote by the late comedian George Carlin: “The game is rigged… but nobody seems to notice, nobody seems to care.”