Council Examines Pay Rates For Officials

Staff Writer

Council members had differing views regarding the next step for proposed pay rates for some elected government officials.

During St. Marys City Council meeting Monday, councilors discussed a request from the city’s finance committee to proceed with discussions on pay rates for the mayor, council members, auditor, law director and assistant law director.

When the committee met on Jan. 22, Mayor Pat McGowan presented his proposed wage changes for elected officials with five positions seeing increases that totaled $26,130.

While council voiced no issues with changing pay rates, Councilman-At-Large Todd Fleagle felt it was unnecessary to send the discussion on rates back to the finance committee.

“I think its a wasted step,” he said.

Council President Jim Harris explained that while the proposed changes seem simple and make sense on paper, it was likely they would require more work in the moment than council should dedicate.

Fleagle said that while he understood there were more details to work out, he felt the city would be more efficient if the changes were discussed Monday night rather than trying to schedule another time for the finance committee to meet.

Ultimately council voted to send the discussion to finance committee to further work out the details with Fleagle the lone dissenting vote. The finance committee scheduled a meeting for 5:15 p.m. Feb. 18 to work on the details of wages for elected officials.

Council continued the meeting by approving an emergency resolution (Resolution 2019-03) authorizing transfer of funds from the General Fund to the Sewer Fund. The transfer of $500,000 was requested to cover the cost of an unfunded mandated study from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency regarding sewer overflows.

The study will be conducted by a company that specializes in sewage rate studies. The company will be selected by Arcadis, a global design and consulting firm that the city contracted with in April, but Foxhoven noted that Arcadis will be the firm the city will be in contact with, it will be the one to interpret the study and it will be the one to make recommendations to the city concerning the necessary corrections.

Foxhoven requested the resolution be passed under suspension of rules so Arcadis could be contacted as soon as possible to get working on the study.