By DENISE GRANT
A Findlay City Council ad hoc committee, organized to consider pay raises for council members, the council president and the city treasurer, agreed Monday to recommend raises for all 12 positions.
The committee recommended a $2,000 hike in the pay of the city treasurer, a part-time position, and a $1,000 salary increase for council members.
The last time the city treasurer received a raise was in 2002. Council’s last pay hike was in 2008.
Findlay Council will consider the recommendation at its next regular meeting on Nov. 21. The meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers at the Findlay Municipal Building, 318 Dorney Plaza. It is open to the public.
Councilman Dennis Hellmann, R-1, is chairman of the ad hoc committee. Other members include Tom Klein, R-4, Tom Shindledecker, R-At-Large, and Don Essex,
Findlay’s human resources director.
Councilman John Harrington, R-5, city Treasurer Susan Hite and Donald Rasmussen, Findlay law director, also attended Monday’s committee meeting.
Council can consider raises for the positions prior to the start of new terms. Ohio law prohibits councils of municipalities from receiving in-term pay raises.
An ordinance which would leave all the salaries at current levels was tabled by council in a 9-0 vote on Oct. 17, with Harrington absent.
Under that ordinance, council and the council president’s salaries would remain at $6,068 in 2018 and 2019. The city treasurer’s salary would be set for the next four years, from 2018 to 2021, at the current amount of $6,833 yearly.
However, on Monday, ad hoc committee members reviewed figures that show Findlay pays these officials much less than the same positions receive in several cities comparable to Findlay, including: Newark, Lancaster, Marion, Massillon, Warren, Ashland, Bowling Green, Mansfield, Middletown, Sidney, Westerville and Wooster.
The average salary for a council member among the comparable cities in 2018 will be $7,256, according to numbers gathered by Essex.
The average salary for a city treasurer among comparable cities is more than twice what Findlay now pays. The average is $14,030.
In a 3-0 vote Monday, Hellmann, Klein and Shindledecker agreed to recommend a $2,000 salary increase for the treasurer in 2018, along with the same 2 percent pay raise that other non-union city employees will receive in 2018 and again in 2019.
The committee will recommend that the treasurer receive the same pay raise in 2020 and 2021 as other non-union employees, a percentage which has yet to be determined.
Council members, including the president, would receive a $1,000 pay increase in 2018, along with the 2 percent raises in 2018 and 2019.
“We hear a lot of people say that they want government to run like a business. Well, successful businesses pay a good wage to good employees and make sure to give good people a raise more than once in 10 years to keep them,” Klein said.
Harrington said the idea of council voting itself a raise never sits well politically, and the “can keeps getting kicked down the road.” He said that’s why the pay for these positions is well below the average.
“It’s way overdue,” Harrington said of raises.