Committee to Vote on Increasing CFO Salary

Katie Yanke has been appointed to the vacant position.

The Township Committee is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote Tuesday on an ordinance setting the 2012 salary for a new Chief Financial Officer.

The proposed $98,500 salary is an approximately 16 percent increase from the top of . The position never was filled at the range of $65,000 to $85,000 set in August 2010.

The committee meeting is scheduled for 8 p.m. in the .

Katie Yanke was appointed as the new CFO at the Nov. 22 meeting.

When the committee set the current CFO salary range along with the ranges for some other open positions in August 2010, officials said the ranges were low and one resident worried about how the lower ranges would affect turnover. But officials also said the reduced ranges were a way to save money and take advantage of a down job market.

"Each of these salary ranges is significantly lower than the salaries of the people retiring from these positions," Mayor Jim Sandham said at the time. "I feel we have taken significant steps in the financial arena to move this town forward and curb spending efforts."

The CFO position has been vacant and the duties have been performed by director of finance Robert Lowenfish, who was hired on a temporary basis. Fran Vanderhoof, the previous CFO, has been serving part-time as the town's certified municipal finance officer until the position was filled because she has necessary certifications.

reg December 13, 2011 at 04:12 PM
If she was appointed on 11/22/11 she obviously new the old salary range. Why are we giving away more money than she knew she was getting? Or was there some secret deal in place to up her salary?
jf December 13, 2011 at 05:29 PM
The more I know the more concerned I become about what happens behind closed doors in this town. Who established the original salary range and why did those in charge feel that range was adequate? I'm an analyst in a corporate setting where numbers need to be substantiated not pulled from thin air. If there is any deviation from the previous established guidelines I better have done my homework and have the research to substantiate the deviation especially such a substantial deviation. I would like to know why the candidates who were willing to accept salaries within the initial ranges were rejected ( the specifics for why they did not qualify) and why this Katie person deserves so much more - what is she bringing to the party that is so dramatically different. I'm certainly glad that the State of NJ has agreed to audit the Towaco Fire Dept financials. It is long overdue. What I know is just the tip of the iceberg and it would make your hair curl. I can't wait for the state to conduct a thorough and objective audit and reveals its findings.
Gary Lewis December 13, 2011 at 05:37 PM
Not knowing any of the personnel involved, one point to keep in mind is having a very qualified CFO in government.....no different than business.....can result in savings through the identification of any truly unnecessary spending in the municipal budget and other efficiencies that will likely eclipse any higher salary......business as usual is just not acceptable.
jf December 13, 2011 at 05:58 PM
Agreed. However, it's a gamble. Tie compensation to results - don't just handover money and cross your fingers that a virtually unknown can produce these kind of savings. Again why did the township feel so strongly about the salary range established and then backpedal? One explanation: they didn't do the due diligence on the front end as usual. I pay a lot of taxes in the town - we all do - at a time when people are cutting back and living on a tight budget let's just be sure we're not just rushing to fill a position so that we can put it in the "done" column. I would like to hear what kind of savings were achieved under the last CFO who was paid even more handsomely if there is an actual relationship between salary and results. I've worked with a lot of high paid executives that could not find their way out of a paper bag but in corporate they don't last long. In goverment I rarely hear of anyone getting fired - it's like teachers and tenure. So since it's difficult to get someone out once their in let's just make sure what we're getting. Full blown background checks, references, etc......
Dan Grant December 13, 2011 at 11:05 PM
Here is a quote from a previous Patch article form last year on the salary ranges from the Mayor. The article headline is "LOW SALARY RANGES COULD SAVE THE TOWN $400,000.00" The Mayor said "We may get someone at the low end [of salary range]," he said. "We might get someone at the high end. We set these amounts at what we thought was a reasonable range." Under the ordinance, the township CFO would stand to make between $65,000 and $85,000 a year. At the maximum end of the spectrum, an incoming CFO would make over $17,000 less than recently retired CFO Fran Vanderhoof, whose salary was listed at $102,082 for 2010, according to documents released by the township. Obviously the headline is the political spin to make the taxpayers think the Township Committee is saving them money. If they aren't going to follow it then either it was deceptive then or just a political statement. To be an honest document the salary guide has to reflect a reasonable expectation of people actually being hired in that range. Anything other than that is not honest. Either they underestimated the range then of they are over paying now. The job market hasn't changed in the past year and municipal CFOs are not the same as a CFO in the private sector. That doesn't mean they don't have to be competent. They do, but it is in a different world. They don't make the same kinds of financial decisions. The Township Committee does.


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