Dubois postpones budget approval for Wind River Visitors Council, questions salary increase

The Dubois Town Council voted not to approve the Wind River Visitors Council budget plan for 2022-2023 during a regular meeting last week.

The council will consider the item again June 6, WRVC executive director Helen Wilson said.

She noted that the budget doesn’t have to be approved until the end of June, “so we have plenty of time to work through the kinks, which is a normal process.”

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“The process is simply postponed,” she said.

Salary

According to meeting minutes, several Dubois council members wanted to know more about Wilson’s salary before approving the WRVC budget.

The WRVC Board of Directors will likely set Wilson’s salary during a May 26 meeting, Wilson said.

But the budget plan that was presented last week showed a $25,000 increase in her pay, minutes state.

Council Member Patricia Neveaux asked how the increase in salary was “justified,” and WRVC board member Frank Welty pointed to an “extensive” study of director salaries in other areas of the state and region, according to the minutes.

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“The board feels that Helen has done a very good job and some salary adjustments needed to be made,” the minutes state.

Wilson pointed out that, based on the amount of time she puts in, she makes about $19 per hour, the minutes said.

“Mayor (John) Meyer replied he makes about $2 per hour,” the minutes state.

Meyer also expressed concern about maintaining high salaries in case of a “rough” future, the minutes said.

“His only problem with the budget is the unknown number for salaries,” according to the minutes. “He would like to see the solid salary numbers.”

The motion to approve the WRVC budget plan failed last week in a 3-2 vote, with Meyer, Neveaux and Council Member Bruce John Thompson voting no and council members Rick Lee and Randy Lahr voting yes.

“Helen will present the budget again at a future meeting,” the minutes state.

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