Rossford approves future raise for council
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 15 January 2013 11:06
ROSSFORD - The Rossford City Council Monday passed an ordinance that raises future council members pay to $600 a month from $250 but not without an assist from the mayor.
The pay item was introduced in December in response to action by the state retirement board.
In order to qualify for benefits office holders must make at least $600, well above what Rossford councilmen were being paid.
Councilman Robert Ruse Monday moved that the motion to pass the ordinance made by Council President Larry Oberdorf be tabled.
Ruse and Councilman Greg Marquette said that such an dramatic increase should be approved by voters, not council, even if incumbents would not get the pay increase until after they ran for re-election.
Marquette said he'd like to put it before the voter: "I'd like them to tell me I deserve a raise."
"We're really not voting on it for ourselves," Caroline Eckel said. "We're voting on it for the next council and the council after that."
Law Director Kevin Heban said that even if voters approved the raise, it would still only apply to newly elected or re-elected members of council.
That means there would be a pay disparity among members of council with some earning the higher rate while others remained at the old rate.
With Councilman Chuck Duricek absent, the council tied 3-3 on the motion to table with Ruse, Mike Scott and Marquette voting to table the motion and Oberdorf, Caroline Eckel and Jerry Staczek voting not to.
Mayor Neil MacKinnon broke the tie and the ordinance was then voted on and passed 4-2, with Scott joining Oberdorf, Staczek and Eckel in voting for the pay hike.
MacKinnon said he looked around the area, and found that Rossford council's pay was near the bottom.
He noted that the pay hike had been discussed for over a month, but aside from one comment at a council meeting, he has not heard anyone object.
"I think you deserve it," he told council.
Also at the meeting, the council recognized Dave Jones, who was retiring as public works supervisor. Jones has worked for the city for more than 40 years, starting as a marina guard when he was 15 in 1968.
The council also approved the promotion of Tyler Kolb to head the public works department.
Council also approved a mutual aid agreement with the National Guard at Toledo Airport.
Fire Chief Jim Verbosky said officials at the Guard realized after a review that they did not have such agreements with a number of neighboring communities.
The agreement is the same as any mutual aid agreement with another municipality.
He said he would be surprised if it was ever needed in the 20-year life of the agreement.