By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer
COLUMBIA TWP. - C. Michael Lemon, who became township administrator two years ago, received a three-year contract renewal this week.
The renewal, approved by a 2-1 vote of Columbia Township trustees, raises Lemon's salary this year from $75,000 to $78,500. The salary will be reviewed in each of the next two years.
"He's worth every penny," Trustee Sharon Hughes said. "I've gotten nothing but compliments about him from agencies and residents."
Hughes and Trustee Steve Langenkamp voted for the contract renewal, while Trustee Jane Pirman voted against it.
Lemon's contract renewal comes at a time when the township is developing a strategy to attract more businesses and is beginning to work on a long-range master plan.
Pirman praised Lemon's job performance, but said the contract's total compensation package - including health benefits, vacation and other items - was much too high for a small township like Columbia.
With a population of 6,557, including the village of Fairfax, Columbia is one of Hamilton County's smallest townships.
Two years ago, Lemon was hired as interim administrator at an annual salary of $62,000.
"I believe the contract's extravagant for our community," said Pirman, a former Columbia Township administrator. "It's comparable to what an administrator would be paid in a township of 50,000 residents and full services. Every service we offer is contracted out except for street cleaning and road repairs."
Lemon said with his new contract he's still the lowest paid full-time township administrator in Hamilton County. "I am singly performing the services that most other townships have a support staff for, ranging from 12 to 22 people," Lemon said. "I also have undertaken the writing and preparation of resolutions that the township previously paid legal counsel to do at a cost of $150 an hour."
Township resident Laura Thurn said she's glad Lemon will continue as administrator.
"I've never seen the township run so professionally," she said. "I think Michael has been doing an extraordinary job."
Gov. Taft stresses jobs, tax overhaul
Businesses liked tone, but wonder how it can be done
UC transplant doc receives new liver
Oxford's WOXY Net-only after sale
Summit students back at school
Summit pupils feel right at home
Twitty's conviction erased from the record
IN THE TRISTATE
One hurt in plant fire in Madison Township
Fest plans to reclaim 'Cinco'
Columbia Twp. administrator renewed
Expulsions will be fewer
Dute to be retried on charges of pandering
Eastern corridor transit plans open for discussion
Motive will determine sentencing in slaying
Felicity library observes 10th year
Junk cars, blaring stereos to be cited by Fairfield cops
Last funds hurdle cleared
Faith better than being cool, Bengals' Kitna tells students
Lakota lists cutbacks if levy fails
Middletown schools to trim
Warren deputy released on bond in drug case
Judge: Allen must testify
Norwood rejects contract negotiated for firefighters
Business adviser to Haitians uses what he learned
Public safety briefs
Lynch opposes police hiring
District head is award winner
Hall pass or not, this baby's coming
Money reallocated to veterans service
Volunteers may oversee W. Chester money issues
Yard sign restriction challenged in court
Bronson: Adult battles could ruin kids' games
Crowley: Ruby saves his first team for late-night meal
Good Things Happening
Burlington seeks sidewalk help
Church's bank accounts investigated
NKU thrilled with budget