Walbridge workers get 3% raises, no bonuses
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer
Thursday, 27 December 2012 10:22
WALBRIDGE - Village employees are in line for 3 percent raises in 2013, but not bonuses - which are usually awarded.
At the Dec. 19 meeting, council passed next year's budget with a lot of discussion and questions for Mayor Dan Wilczynski.
Councilman Ed Kolanko, who is chairman of the finance committee, said he wanted bonuses taken out of the budget.
Wilczynski lobbied for them, but ended up acquiescing. "Most businesses understand that their employees are their No. 1 asset," the mayor said.
Village employees, he said, are paid a fair wage but it's important to give them bonuses when they rise above expectations. Bonuses in 2011 ranged from $1,000 for the police chief, tax commissioner and administrative clerk, to $50 for three police officers, the administrative clerk and the school crossing guard.
"We're not a business, we're a municipality," Kolanko said. In a later interview, he added that Walbridge employees have 100 percent of their health insurance paid, "which is a very nice benefit."
The extra $5,000 for bonuses was put into the parks fund.
Wilczynski had also advocated giving 8 percent raises to employees this year, but that was scaled back after hearing from council.
Councilwoman Jan Sawaya said the mayor should have had a public meeting to discuss the budget before this one where it needed to be decided. Wilczynski responded that everyone had received the budget earlier and he had welcomed feedback in e-mails, phone calls or private meetings.
"I do not want to meet with you one on one," Sawaya said.
Wilczynski said he had received comments from Councilman Nathan Eikost, and from finance committee members, Kolanko and Sue Hart-Douglas.
"I think it reflects almost everything everyone has asked for," the mayor said.
Kolanko said he would like police officers to get a bigger raise.
Sawaya agreed, saying, "I just think they deserve a better wage than what they're making."
Eikost suggested that her utilities and personnel committee study police pay in 2013 and make recommendations before the 2014 budget is passed.
There was also discussion over a curb replacement project that was approved by council several weeks ago, but was never completed. Some council members wondered how that money would be allocated in 2013 and if it could be removed and rebid.
Wilczynski said the money should stay allocated because there is only one company who bids on these types of village projects, and the delay was the administration's fault, not the company's.
The budget, which totaled $1.37 million, was passed unanimously.
Council also had a lot of discussion before passing the 2012 budget.
Displeased over spending on police radios and not parks, Hart-Douglas initially voted against allowing the 2012 Walbidge budget to go through the emergency ordinance passage process. She changed her mind after Wilczynski said council would have to hold another special meeting and pass a temporary budget sometime before the end of the year.
Also at the Dec. 19 meeting, council:
•Renewed an agreement with Paramount Healthcare Assoc. for benefits. The cost is $5,872 per month, a 0 percent increase.
• Had the first reading on a resolution urging the Ohio Legislature to adopt laws to require all elected officials to be current on all tax filings and payments to federal, state and local governments. This was introduced by Wilczynski, who said with all of the work elected officials do on budgets, they should be current on their own taxes.
• Heard Eikost had created a self-evaluation form for each council member to review.