New borough manager Debra Schnabel’s contract is on the Haines Assembly’s agenda tomorrow night.
Schnabel has been working for about a week without a final contract. That’s because of a complication related to health insurance. Schnabel wanted to forgo borough health coverage and instead use the money for professional development. But she later found out that eligible borough employees are required to have the insurance under the health trust’s guidelines.
If the contract is approved, Schnabel’s annual salary would be $93,600. That’s less than the advertised salary range of $95,000-$120,000. Schnabel says she negotiated a lower salary because she wants to lessen the gap between the pay of the manager and department heads.
That will make Schnabel the second highest-paid borough employee. Police Chief Heath Scott’s salary is $97,850. The school district superintendent, Tony Habra, earns $113,000. But school district salaries are only partially funded by the borough.
There’s another question related to Schnabel’s hire. Shortly before the last assembly meeting, the borough attorney released an opinion about a potential conflict of interest.
Schnabel’s brother, Roger, owns the local construction company Southeast Road Builders. The attorney said unless the assembly changes code, the borough cannot contract with Roger’s company while Debra is manager.
The assembly will continue its discussion on that item Tuesday.
The assembly also has its last chance to approve the budget for the upcoming fiscal year. The spending plan needs to be ratified by June 15.
Some major changes hinge on the assembly’s acceptance of the budget. There is funding proposed for a fifth police officer, along with additional police overtime and standby time. A new economic development corporation is slated to receive $95,000, pending budget approval. And the assembly has yet to agree on the best way to financially support nonprofits.
The meeting is Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in assembly chambers.