Council approves pay raises for officials | News, Sports, Jobs

Council approves pay raises for officials | News, Sports, Jobs

April 30, 2019 Off By administrator

GIRARD — After much discussion and reviewing of figures, city council on Monday approved a 6.5-percent pay increase for council and council president and a 7-percent increase for mayor, law director, auditor and safety service director.

With the exception of the safety service director, which is an appointed position and not an elected one, all the pay increases are effective Jan. 1, 2020. The safety service director increase is effective June 1.

The raises for the mayor, law director, city auditor, council president and council members are effective in January 2020 because elected officials can’t get raises while serving their terms. The terms expire Dec. 31.

City council members previously discussed giving elected officials pay raises through a tiered system, but Law Director Brian Kren advised against giving in-term raises, so officials approved a one-time increase over the two or four years of that position’s term.

Effective Jan. 1, the mayor will be paid $52,997, the auditor will be paid $47,251 and law director either $35,331 with health benefits or $42,426 without health benefits. The safety service director will be paid $57,946 effective June 1.

The positions’ pay will not change during the four years of the elected terms. Council members will be paid $8,100 and council president $8,101. The pay will not change during the two-year term.

Council’s raise would allow members to meet the minimum pay that qualifies public employees for the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System. The raise would take their salaries from about $633 per month to $660 per month.

Through OPERS, employees gain years of service that contribute to retirement plans.

Fourth Ward Councilman Thomas Grumley voted “no” on the increase for council and council president, saying he was not comfortable with increases simply to meet the minimum eligibility that qualifies public employees for the OPERS.

“This is no reflection on any member of council or council president or the amount of work everyone is doing,” Grumley said.

Councilman-at-Large William Ryser said he is supporting the increases because “I believe it is fundamental to be a first-class city and attract first-class people to serve in positions of authority and to compensate them for the authority we are empowering them with and the expectations we are setting for them. There is a level of accountability to serving.”

Councilman-at-Large John Moliterno said the officials each will present a state of the city report for their department and what has been accomplished in the past year and what to expect in the upcoming year.

Moliterno said the pay increase would benefit whoever is elected to council next year, which may not be the current members. He said it has been four to six years since some positions were given a raise.

Auditor Sam Zirafi said money for the increases is set aside in the general fund indicated in each position’s ordinance and is split between the general fund, street,…

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