City officials are considering pay changes for Canal Winchester employees as part of a current staffing review effort.

City officials are considering pay changes for Canal Winchester employees as part of a current staffing review effort.

At the Nov. 5 finance committee meeting, Finance Director Nanisa Osborn said the city has had difficulty filling positions because of its current salary ranges.

"The last time we updated salary ranges was fall of 2008," she said. "Since then, a lot has happened, so we took time to take a look at them.

"When we went out in the market to try and fill some entry-level positions, we got some responses, but we were getting responses equal to the low-end range of what other communities were offering."

In early 2012, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission (MORPC) released a salary survey of data from 19 member governments on various positions and descriptions. Salary ranges reported in the survey were received from the participating communities for the current year, Osborn said.

"When we're asking people to come on board with their CDL or other licensing already in place, that gets more expensive," she said. "When we ran the advertisement for the finance director, we asked people to give us a salary range they needed instead of posting one. All of the applicants came in well over what we pay."

According to the survey, Canal Winchester's pay ranges fall below nearly all other central Ohio participating municipalities.

"A few things in the MORPC report stand out," Councilman John Bender said. "We're not paying a city administrator, which costs an awful lot of money, so we should probably be paying our department heads a little more to make up for the extra work they take on."

Osborn said city officials would like Canal Winchester to be closer to the middle of the pack in regard to salary ranges and provided council with an ordinance which, if approved, would increase the salary ranges of 27 city positions.

That list does not include the mayor or members of city council.

The finance committee agreed to send the salary ordinance on to the full council for a public hearing; a first reading is tentatively scheduled for council's Nov. 19 meeting.

Committee members also recommended changes to employee job descriptions that will include more information regarding the job class and whether the position is classified or unclassified.

"This project is part of our village-to-city transition. We're getting close to having those items finished, but obviously, this was a big project," Osborn said.

As part of annual year-end staff reviews, she said Mayor Michael Ebert approved a merit increase points system, which is the same as previous years.

"Each year, I prepare a recommendation for merit increases and this should look familiar because it is exactly what we did last year," Osborn said. "I would expect the majority of staff to come in between the 2.5- and 3-percent range."

The raises will vary depending on each staff member's review score, which are posted between 16 and 30 points, with 30 being the best.