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No. The Township Board does not have this authority in a general law township unless two conditions are met. MCL 41.95(2) states that “the salary of an elected township official . . . shall not be decreased during the official’s term unless the responsibilities and requirements of that office are diminished and the official consents in writing to the reduction in salary.” Therefore, the Township Board may only reduce the board member’s salary under these conditions. And even though the methods for establishing compensation are varied, elected officials in charter law townships are afforded the same protection against arbitrary salary reductions during their term of office as their counterparts in general law townships. MCL 42.6a(6).
If the board member’s salary has already been improperly reduced, State of Michigan Attorney General Opinion No. 7238 suggests that action may be taken to remedy the matter. According to that opinion, “the township should pay the unpaid portion minus the applicable payroll deductions.” In situations where the consent requirement has been met, but the corresponding reduction in responsibilities requirement has not, the board member “may then voluntarily return to the township all or a portion of any compensation received.”
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