Committee To Send Wage Increase Proposal To Council

Managing Editor

Members of the St. Marys Finance Committee agreed on wage increases for elected officials during its meeting on Monday after a four-week off-and-on discussion.

Coming to a consensus from Chairperson Bob Fitzgerald, members John Bubp and Dan Uhlenhake, members agreed to wage increases for the following elected official positions: Auditor: $24,000, treasurer: $9,000, law director: $35,000, mayor: $22,000 and council and council president: $5,750.

St. Marys Mayor Pat McGowan gave members his proposed wages for each position during a committee meeting on Dec. 22 and returned on Monday with a comparison of elected officials' wages from Wapakoneta, Celina, Bellefontaine and Van Wert as well as his proposed wages for St. Marys officials.

His suggestions wage increases are as followed: Auditor: $18,870 to $24,000, law director: $26,000 to $35,000, mayor: $15,000 to $24,000, council and council president: $5,000 to $6,5000 and treasurer: $8,000 to $9,500.

McGowan's proposed wage increase would amount to $30,130.00 for the six positions and would start on Jan. 1, 2020. The mayor said he compared St. Marys' elected officials wages to other cities of similar size, cities in the closest geographic area.

All positions in St. Marys are part time and mayors from both St. Marys and Wapakoneta work approximately 20 hours weekly and do not exceed 30 hours.

Currently, St. Marys has the second-lowest wage for the mayor position, with Wapakoneta having just $12,000. Wages for council and council president are relatively similar, law director is slightly higher than Wapakoneta but lower than everyone else and St. Marys' auditor position compared to the other cities.

When looking at the history of the mayoral position, wages were at $6,000 in 1992, increased to $10,000 in 2000 and increased in 2008 to $15,000. Wages were not increased in 2016 because of the financial hardship the city was enduring.

Each member shared their reasoning for why they chose wage figures for each position and ultimately came to a middle ground between the three of them, but the biggest sticking point was the mayor position. 

Bubp based his suggestions on inflation, but were still open for discussion. His suggestions were $24,000 for auditor, $35,000 for law director, $20,000 for mayor, council and council president at $6,000 and treasurer at $9,500.

For Uhlenhake, his suggestions were as followed, but were open for discussion: $22,000 for auditor, $32,000 for law director, $20,000 for mayor, $5,000 for council and council president and $9,500 for treasurer.

For Fitzgerald, his suggestions were as followed: $24,000 for auditor, $35,000 for law director, between $21,000 and $23,000 for mayor, $5,500 for council and council president and $9,500 for treasurer.

The committee then agreed on a set of wage increases for each position, agreed to revisit the wages every four years — the amount of time for each elected official's term — and agreed to have the proposed wages sent to council during its next meeting for approval.