By Vernon Robison
Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley Television Maintenance District (MVTVD) Board of Directors, at a meeting held Tuesday, October 4, took no action on an agenda item that would have raised board member monthly stipends from $25 to $45.
The item was first raised in the board’s September meeting by board chairman Daniel Pray. Pray had said that the stipends had not been increased in more than a decade and, during that time, the duties of the board had increased as the recent switch-over to digital had taken place.
Most board members felt that the stipend increase was unnecessary.
Roy Wilmer said that the stipend was just meant to cover the time that board members spent in their monthly meeting.
“I think that for that, the amount is fair,” he said.
“I came into this with the understanding that this was basically a volunteer organization,” said board member Bob Lyman. “I was going to vote against this no matter what. I disagree with voting ourselves a pay raise.”
“Let’s face it, the $25 we are getting now is basically squat,” said board member J.D. Hudrlik. “If we raise it to $45 it is basically two times squat. It wouldn’t make much difference. But that being said, I think raising it would cause problems with the general public.”
But Pray expressed concern about the amount of uncompensated work that he was doing for the district.
“I just think that there needs to be some compensation,” he said. “It is becoming a lot more work than it was. I don’t know what is fair, but I’d like to be compensated for my phone bills, time and other expenses.”
Wilmer said that those kinds of expenses ought to be submitted by board members to the district for reimbursement. He explained that whenever he goes up to the MVTVD transmission site atop Beacon Hill to do technical work he bills the district $25/hour for his time.
“It is true that we used to do it for cheap because there were no funds to pay for it,” Wilmer said. “But it might take a lot longer to get up there and get it done. Now we have funds and things should be expected to be done well and done quickly because it makes a big difference.”
“I think that if we didn’t have people on the board maintaining our equipment, we would have to pay a contractor to do it,” said Lyman. “If we had someone from the outside doing what you all do we’d have to pay them and it would probably be more than $25/hour. So I think that we should just submit expenses.”
Pray pointed out that this could become a higher expense to the district than the proposed raise to the stipend.
“I felt that for an additional $20 a month I’d be compensated for my phone time and other things I’m doing,” Pray said. “This other way is going to cost the district a lot more money.”
To put the item to a vote, Wilmer made a motion to accept the $20 increase in board stipends. There was no second to the motion so the item was dropped without a vote.