Committee says council members deserve raise
Members make $250 a month; measure would increase pay to $600 in 2016
Grandview Heights City Council's planning and administration committee voted Monday, Oct. 7, to recommend that council approve an ordinance to give council members a $600 monthly salary beginning Jan. 1, 2016.
The committee, which met ahead of council's regular meeting, could not come to agreement on a recommendation on legislation to boost the mayor's salary.
Council did not take action on either ordinance.
The original council salary ordinance sponsored by council President Steve Reynolds proposed giving council members a $12,000 annual salary payable in monthly $1,000 installments beginning in 2016.
Reynolds, who decided not to run for re-election this year, said he brought the legislation to council because it had been about a decade since council's pay was increased.
In 2002, council approved increasing its salary to $250 per month beginning Jan. 1, 2004. The council president's salary was raised to $300 per month. Council's salary previously had been $100 per month.
"The question is, what is the proper level of compensation for members of council?" Reynolds asked. "The primary reason (I sponsored the legislation) is that it has not been addressed for so long."
Future councils also should be encouraged to address the salary issue on a more-timely basis so that large increases are not needed, he said.
The committee agreed $1,000 per month was too high a salary given the amount of time council members devote to their office.
"It seemed a little extreme," council member Anthony Panzera said about the $1,000 monthly wage.
The current council should address the issue now, rather than "push it off to future councils," he said.
Director of Finance Bob Dvoraczky presented council with a chart comparing Grandview's compensation for council with other communities.
Grandview's current $3,000 annual salary for council ranked near the bottom among 36 communities. Only five cities -- most with either a city manager or administrator -- had lower council salaries. Grandview has a strong-mayor form of government.
Increasing council's salary to $600 a month would cost the city an additional $33,250 a year, Dvoraczky said.
The mayor's salary already is set to increase to $36,000 on Jan. 1, 2015.
The ordinance now before council would increase the salary to $37,100 effective Jan. 1, 2016, and increase it another 3 percent per year, rounded to the nearest hundred-dollar figure, each of the next three years to $40,500 effective Jan. 1, 2019.
The legislation also states the mayor would be considered a permanent part-time, 75 percent full-time-equivalent position solely for purposes relative to health insurance.
This provision would give the mayor the option of participating in the city's group medical insurance plan by paying the employee contribution set for noncollective bargained employees.
While he has no problem with the mayor being included in the group medical insurance plan, Panzera said, he would rather see the mayor pay a larger contribution, given the office is a part-time position.
The planning and administration committee is expected to meet again prior to council's next meeting to continue its discussion.