Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News

Local News

July 16, 2009

Library salaries continue to climb

Saving becomes harder as personnel costs grow

Kokomo-Howard County Public Library board members voted this week to cut hours and charge checkout fees, in response to a big property tax shortfall.

But the shock of a half-million dollar hit to the budget did more than simply prompt a round of short-term revenue balancing maneuvers — it also has the potential to permanently change the way the library board does business.

Five years ago, the library board could have simply trimmed one line and solved the problem — with no cuts to services and no checkout fees.

But a combination of hefty employee pay increases and property tax reform has removed the cushion from the library’s budget.

No longer can the library count on having hundreds of thousands each year to sock away into a reserve building fund.

Each year for the past six years, the amount of savings set aside has dwindled.

And each of those years, library employees received raises.

Between 2003 and 2008, the total amount spent on employee pay and benefits increased 28 percent.

During the same period, the amount saved each year for future capital expenses dwindled, from $1.2 million in 2003 to less than $150,000 this year.

More telling, the library’s 2009 budget was almost exactly the same as the library’s 2003 budget.

But in 2009, salaries and benefits made up 63 percent of the budget. In 2003, that figure was 48 percent.

And almost all of the increase came in the form of pay increases, as opposed to, for example, the city of Kokomo, where insurance costs have largely driven the increase in personnel expenses.

Library director Charles Joray was the biggest recipient of the taxpayers’ largesse, with his salary increasing 41 percent over that time period.

In 2003, Joray’s salary was $70,242; this year, prior to the cost-cutting moves, Joray was scheduled to earn $98,262.

Joray is now the 12th highest-paid library director in the state, in charge of the 18th largest library population served.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Dual Credit classes KACC 02 Dual credits give high school students head start on college More area students are enrolling in dual credit classes as a way to get an early start on their college degrees and prepare for the rigor of higher education while still in high school. In the past five years, the number of college credits earned by

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Email, Internet knocked out at Miami Co. Courthouse PERU -- Basic government services were put on hold for the second time in nearly two months in Miami County after a massive server failure once again knocked out Internet and email access in most departments and offices. The crash hit early last week

    April 18, 2014

  • Early voting underway in Miami Co. PERU -- Miami County officials are reminding residents that early voting is now open for the primary election. Early voting started April 8 and will end May 5, one day before Election Day. Early voting is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. every weekday at t

    April 18, 2014

  • Jackson Street Commons veterans home grand opening set for May 22 Jackson Street Commons, a home for veterans near downtown Kokomo, will host a grand opening May 22. The new $3.6 million facility, located at 322 E. Jackson St., provides permanent housing to 27 previously homeless veterans, said Judy Dennis, executi

    April 18, 2014

  • YMCA nearing design phase completion Development and design of the new 73,000 square foot YMCA should be completed in the next 30 days, YMCA of Kokomo Executive Director David Dubois told the Kokomo Common Council Monday. Dubois said he hopes to begin construction on the new facility by

    April 18, 2014

  • NHS, PJHS named four-star schools Northwestern High School and Peru Jr. High School have found their place among the top schools in the state, with the Indiana Department of Education recognizing them as four-star schools Tuesday. A total of 311 elementary, middle and high schools we

    April 18, 2014

  • NWS-PT041614 Flora Doc1.jpg [Duplicate] The doctor is still in after health group's departure FLORA -- The safe at a downtown bank building, once used for protecting cash and valuables, is now stocked with medical supplies. The former bank office on East Main Street became Flora Family Medicine last month after it was made possible for one lo

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Students visit courthouse Elementary students gained insight on the inner workings of county government through field trips to the Howard County Courthouse this week. Northwestern School Corp. students visited the courthouse Wednesday, and Western Intermediate School third gr

    April 18, 2014

  • Mac talent show 01 lf Maconaquah students, alumni take the stage for 50th annual variety show

    BUNKER HILL - When students from Bunker Hill and Clay Township schools suddenly found themselves walking the same halls in the new Maconaquah High School, they needed something to rally around as they formed their new school identity. That's when Pow

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS - KT041714 - Bunker Hill child neglect arrests - CLG - pic1 Miami Co. couple face charges of neglect after children found malnourished BUNKER HILL - Two Bunker Hill children have been placed in foster care after officials discovered they were living in a dilapidated house with no heat or running water and were exposed to dangerous amounts of lead. In relation to the case, police Mon

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Beau Biden Plans 2016 Run for Del. Governor Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries