The supervisors in Texas Township are re-negotiating zoning and building code enforcement officer Lee S. Krause’s contract, something Krause called a “knee-jerk reaction” to the commotion over the salary of Honesdale’s zoning and building code enforcement officer.
The supervisors in Texas Twp. are re-negotiating zoning and building code enforcement officer Lee S. Krause’s contract, something Krause called a “knee-jerk reaction” to the commotion over the salary of Honesdale’s zoning and building code enforcement officer.
Krause said he and the supervisors discussed the contract Monday evening, and they agreed to extend his current contract for three months.
Under the agreement, Krause will take a cut in individual health benefits and a decrease in payment on a township cell phone.
“It seems they (the supervisors) are making a knee-jerk reaction to the Wayne Earley situation,” Krause told the Wayne Independent on Monday.
As Honesdale’s zoning and building code enforcement officer, Wayne Earley receives an $80,000 salary, plus benefits.
Unlike Earley, Krause does not receive a salary. He works under a percentage pay where, in most cases, he keeps 50 percent money generated through permit fees and penalties, and the rest goes to a township account.
According to his 2010 W-2 statement, Krause made $21,854.25 as a building and zoning code enforcement officer.
Krause said the supervisors see the percentage method of payment as “a thing of the past.”
But Krause disagrees.
“I’m taking money from people that pay for permits, not taxpayer money,” he said. “I bring in my own salary.”
Supervisor chairman John McDonald and vice-chairman Don Doney did not return calls seeking comment.
During a public meeting Monday evening, resident Georgette Pascotto said there was a “lack of transparency” with disbursements regarding the invoice from the Rusty Palmer paving job.
Doney said the township “held money back to protect the township,” so it can pay Earley for past jobs.
“We held money back to be paid in segments to Wayne (Earley),” Doney said.
Texas Township continues to make payments to Earley for permits he wrote for two major projects — the Wayne County Prison and Rusty Palmers Inc.
Earley, who left the township in 2006, received two payments in 2007, and one payment in 2010. Haggarty said the 2010 payment was for 75 percent of the total payment because the Rusty Palmer project is not finished.
Earley is expected to receive a total of $36,770 for the Wayne County Prison and Rusty Palmer permits.
A call to Earley on Wednesday was not returned.
A recent article in The (Scranton) Sunday Times reported that Krause had made $11,368 from a parking lot paving permit at Rusty Palmer Inc., but Krause and Township Secretary John Haggarty said the amount listed is incorrect and that Krause did not receive that amount.
“He didn’t get the $11,000,” Haggarty said. “That permit was issued when Mr. Earley was the zoning officer for the township.”