Midnight oil burned with GSB budgeting

Rebecca Carton

GSB senators have approved additional salaries and wages for members within their own organization.

Wednesday’s GSB Senate meeting ran into early Thursday morning as regular allocations requests from student organizations were voted on.

One of the most debated budget requests was that of its own organization. GSB spent more than an hour debating the details of Finance Director Ryan Myers’ recommendation for salaried positions in the 2009 fiscal year.

Myers, graduate student in accounting, made the recommendations for salaries and wages for the GSB director of ambassadors, webmaster, director of IT, senate clerk and finance clerk, along with stipends for the chief of staff, speaker of the senate and finance committee vice chairperson.

The recommended salary of $1120 for the webmaster was the item that caused the most debate.

An amendment to halve the salary to $560 was eventually passed by a close vote of 10-9.

Senator Charles Wakefield said he didn’t think the webmaster should receive such a large salary.

“I guess I realize that a lot of the work that the webmaster has been doing has been behind the scenes, but I have a hard time paying $60 per week for the maintenance of a Web site and the computers,” he said. “I don’t see enough stuff being done to justify the expenditure.”

Senator Taleen Brady, senior in psychology, said she was uncomfortable with such a large salary for the webmaster due to the fact that members of GSB should be working to provide a service to students.

“I guess my concern is I hope no one is joining GSB for the money,” she said. “It concerns me that our highest-paid cabinet member is the webmaster.”

GSB Director of IT Trevin Ward, senior in political science, said even though the salary for the webmaster seemed high, it was relatively small compared to what the position would be paid outside the organization.

“In the long run, we’re saving GSB money,” he said. “I get more than this at ITS for this work, which is similar.”

Other senators were concerned with the idea that the webmaster’s salary would be higher that of the IT director’s salary of $560.

Senator Mitch Hayek, graduate student in political science, said a person who is supervising another should not be paid less.

“The webmaster is a highly specialized post . why should we be paying the webmaster twice as much as the person I presume should oversee that position or the chief of staff?” he said.

GSB President Brian Phillips, senior in political science, said he had no problem with the webmaster’s listed salary.

“I really don’t see this disparity as really being a problem,” he said. “It fits the position. The webmaster has been very good about actively seeking out things on the Web page that need to be fixed.”

Other changes to the finance director’s recommendations included cutting a $429 stipend for the finance committee vice chairperson, by a vote of 20-1-0.

The budget was referred back to the finance committee with instructions to amend the changes and reduce the salary of the director of ambassadors based on work study requirements.

GSB voted 14-5-2 to refer the Sankalp budget back to the finance committee with instructions to include a line item for an ethnic food picnic.

ISU Habitat for Humanity’s budget was approved with the finance committee’s recommendations, by a vote of 21-0-0.

In addition to resolving regular allocations for approximately 140 student groups, GSB also voted to assist the volleyball and tennis clubs in funding competitive trips.

Other bills that were passed included ratifying a contract with ASSET for the 2009 fiscal year. The bill passed by a vote of 21-1-0.

GSB unanimously passed a bill correcting the 2008 regular allocations amount. The bill will transfer $726.14 from the capital projects account to the regular allocations account.

Due to the long hours spent discussing regular allocations, a bill to amend bylaws in order to speed up the legislative process was postponed until next week’s meeting.