Springfield supervisors decked the hall with gifts large and small last week.
In a 3-1 vote, board members settled on a 2 percent salary increase and a 2 percent bonus for non-uniform township employees, and secretary and treasurer Deb Godshall received a $2,500 bonus on top of her increases. The police department received a 1 percent bonus.
There was even something in the township stocking for taxpayers, who again will see no tax increase. The millage rate remains at 12, so a resident with an assessment of $50,000 will continue to pay $600 in taxes.
In a last stand, departing Supervisor Karen Bedics voted against the police bonus, pointing out officers’ salaries were a lot higher than the women who worked in administration. “They also have a contract coming up next year,” she observed.
Supervisor Tony Matzura, who eventually voted for the raises, urged fiscal caution. “We need to be responsible with taxpayer dollars. We don’t know what things are going to look like next year.”
Explaining the hikes, acting Supervisor Chairman Jim Nilsen said, “Staff has been giving 100 percent with (Manager) Mike (Brown) not being here. There was more weight put on the shoulders of everyone here.”
On another matter, residents Sue Ziegler and Steve Doncevic praised Supervisor Bedics for her diligence and dedication to the township. Bedics responded by saying it had been a privilege to serve for the past six years. “I did the best I could.”
Always armed with questions, Bedics was at times a lone crusader, passionately calling for closer oversight of the police department and an expanded recycling center only to be rebuffed by her colleagues. She was an outspoken critic of the proposed Adelphia Gateway gas pipeline, and memorably read aloud a letter critical of other board members, who refused to second her motion to further scrutinize township and county documents dating from the 1970s raising objections to the then interstate energy pipeline.
She did score some victories with the adoption of a more flexible septic pumping policy, and the approval of an Environmental Assessment of the Adelphia pipeline.
Her successor on the board is Pete Kade, a Vietnam veteran and recent retiree.