Written by DAVID DUPONT Sentinel Staff Writer
Thursday, 31 January 2013 10:48
ROSSFORD - The ordinance that raised pay for future city council members passed earlier this month only with a tie-breaking vote from the mayor.
At Monday's council meeting a unanimous vote, with one councilman absent, rescinded that action and sent the pay hike back to the finance committee.
The ordinance raised pay for council to $600 a month, up from $250 a month. The pay hike would only apply to members of council elected after it is enacted. During discussions, Mayor Neil MacKinnon has noted that council's pay is far below that for councils in surrounding communities.
Monday, Councilman Chuck Duricek, who was absent because he was hospitalized when the ordinance passed, expressed his disappointment that the increase had been approved.
He said that the ordinance "walks all over" the city's charter. And that the resolution should have been discussed in a finance committee because it amounted to a "$30,000 expenditure."
That would be true once all members of council were receiving the new rate, which would likely not happen for several years.
Council President Larry Oberdorf, who supported the pay hike, said he respected Duricek's opinion and that given the legal concerns he raised moved that the pay hike be rescinded. That motion passed unanimously. The council then voted unanimously to table the resolution.
Still Oberdorf said: "I truly believe our council deserves a suitable raise ... I believe a person who does his job deserves fair pay."
Oberdorf then said as council president he was dismayed by "discord" and behind the scenes maneuvering on council.
Oberdorf said before every decision "I always pray first and ask: Is this the best decision for the people of Rossford?"
He asked for a confidential ballot with each member of council writing down whether he should continue and their opinion of his leadership. The pencils never came out.
MacKinnon praised Oberdorf's leadership and service. "You're a fine man, doing a fine job."
The other members of council concurred.
Duricek added he felt disagreements were healthy. "I have a problem when there's no discord. That's not a place we want to be."
He also defended his use of emails to communicate to other council members. Even though they come from his personal email account, they are public records, he said. "It's not back room, it's out there."
In another continuation from last meeting, the city council heard a presentation about the Lucas 2 Chest Compression System.
Fire Chief Jim Verbosky has requested the purchase of one, using some of the money given the city by the Hollywood Casino.
The public safety committee, chaired by Councilman Jerry Staczek balked, leading to a long discussion at the last meeting.
Since then the committee has met with Verbosky and others, and now supports purchasing two of the devices, which cost $12,000 each.
At the earlier meeting, Staczek and others said there were studies found on the internet that cited concerns with the devices.
Robert Dempsey, a senior sales representative for Physio-Control which sells the Lucas 2, said the devices studied were on a competing product that functions differently.
Using a mannikin Dempsey demonstrated the device. It adjusts its action, he said, "based on the size and geometry of the individual."
Verbosky said studies show that a human tires at out after a minute doing CPR. The Lucas 2 can deliver 100 compressions a minute, two inches deep.
Verbosky said that the device helped save a female crash victim's life last year.
Verbosky said when emergency medical technicians arrived she was almost dead. The Lucas 2 meant that CPR could continue while the woman was being flown to the hospital in an air ambulance. That would not be possible if a technician had to perform CPR, the fire chief said.