Rossford voters may weigh in on council pay hike
Written by By DAVID DUPONT/Sentinel Staff Writer
Tuesday, 26 March 2013 09:16
ROSSFORD — City Council is considering asking voters for a large pay increase, its first in 20 years.
The proposal would also raise the mayor’s pay.
After a plan to hike council pay foundered earlier year, the Finance Committee revisited the issue on Monday.
At the council meeting, committee Chairman Robert Ruse proposed that the council put a charter amendment on the ballot that would reset council salaries.
The recommendation would set annual pay for a member of council at $8,400 up from $3,000, for president at $9,000 up from $3,300, and for mayor $18,000, up from $7,500.
Ruse said the amount would be $700 monthly, which is more than the new $600 threshold for council members to receive credit toward a state pension.
Ruse also said that committee members felt the increase in pay may help to attract younger people to run for council.
He said that while “no one does it for the money,” going 20 years without a raise considering the work involved in the job was too long.
By passing the raise as a charter amendment, all members of council would get the increase. If the increase were approved by council, only those elected to new terms after the pay hike was approved would get it.
Councilman Greg Marquette said he was concerned upon having the raise kick in all at once. He said he wished it could be gradually put into place with more automatic cost of living type increases.
Previous councils have not dared to take on the issue, he said.
City Council President Larry Oberdorf supported the move to put the item on the ballot. “This is up to the dictates of the voters of Rossford. ... I feel our citizens are intelligent voters and they will accept it or not.”
Ruse said a survey of surrounding communities has Rossford with the lowest pay, except for Ottawa Hills.
Those figures, he noted, do account for any increases that other councils may have passed in reaction to the changes in the Public Employees Retirement System.
Law Director Kevin Heban will draw up an ordinance to be presented at the next meeting. That will give council a chance to give the measure three full readings and still have enough time to place it on the November ballot.
Also at the meeting, council approved contracting with DGL Consulting Engineers for design services related to a new pedestrian bridge on Glenwood Road near Wales Road over the second branch of Grassy Creek.
The money will be paid out of a Safe Routes to School grant that the city and Rossford School District sought together.
The project will be built in conjunction with a new road bridge at the site.
The county, Ciecka said, has also received grant money for the project.
He characterized the entire project “as a nice joint venture.”
With the help of the Wood County Port Authority, school and city officials are actively pursuing more ways to collaborate.
The newly hired Superintendent of Schools Dan Creps, who grew up in Rossford, visited council and was presented with a Bulldog ball cap by Mayor Neil MacKinnon.
“Strong schools mean strong communities,” Creps told council. “And strong communities mean strong schools. “
He said he looked forward to finding ways to collaborate with city officials.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 26 March 2013 11:50