Rossford Council debates raises
Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Monday, 17 December 2012 10:00
ROSSFORD - A move to increase pay of city council in response to changes in the state's public employee retirement system ran into opposition at last week's meeting.
The change was initiated when the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System raised to $600 the amount employees need to earn monthly to earn a full year's retirement credit. The proposed change in Rossford would also automatically raise council's pay to keep it at the state minimum.
Council now earns $250 a month.
The OPERS changes made, said Councilwoman Caroline Eckel, were made specifically to knock municipal officials off the roles.
Councilman Chuck Duricek said he had no problem with the pay increase noting council hasn't had a raise in about 20 years, but objected to the automatic adjustment. He also questioned how significant the benefit would be. He estimated for a council member to qualify they would get $80 or $90 a month.
Council President Larry Oberdorf said that while that may not seem a lot to Duricek that would be significant to someone on a fixed income.
Qualifying for OPERS also has some insurance benefits for those not yet eligible for Medicare.
Councilman Greg Marquette said he thought voters should have a say on any raise.
During the public comment section, resident Bob Densic said the changes were necessary because the state's retirement system is in such bad shape, and that council should not raise its salaries.
"It's unsustainable," he said.
He said he knew the hours council members put in as well as the time put in by those who serve on other municipal committees and commissions.
They should be doing it because of the value of being a public servant without regard to pay.
Council did approve pay raises for city administrative positions not covered by a bargaining unit. The amount of the raises varied, but were in the neighborhood of 3 percent, about what unionized employees have received. They have not received an increase since 2009.
Council also approved the purchase of a dump truck with plow for a price to exceed $50,000 and a pick up truck not to exceed $30,000. The purchases will be made through the state purchasing program.
City Administrator Ed Ciecka said that the state process is lagging and that's why there's not a more specific price.
The dump truck being replaced is from 1993 the same year council last got a raise, Ciecka noted.
Council also approved claiming of three small buffer lots at the end of Schreier Road near Bruns Drive that are being forfeited because they did not sell at the sheriff's sale.