Licking County News

Brush: Pataskala should consider increasing City Council wages

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Councilman Bernard Brush wants Pataskala City Council to evaluate wages for council members and those who serve on the city's boards and commissions.

"I think there should be a range and (council wages) should be based on attendance, same as the boards," Brush said. "Instead of a flat rate amount, I'd rather have it as an amount per meeting to encourage attendance. You could have a high and a low so at least you would get the minimum amount. If you go to all the meetings, you would get the maximum amount."

Council members currently earn $3,000 a year; the council president earns $3,300 a year and the mayor earns $13,000 annually. None of the elected officials receive benefits through the city.

Members of the city's boards and commissions earn $25 for each meeting they attend. Funds are paid out with the last payroll checks of each year. That includes those who serve on the parks board, the planning and zoning commission, the personnel board of review and the board of zoning appeals.

Brush said City Council's pay increased from $700 annually in 1995 to $3,000 in 1997 and hasn't changed since.

"There's a lot more time involved in it," he said of serving on City Council.

Brush said to attract good candidates to serve on City Council, the compensation should be appropriate. Similarly, he said people serving on city boards and commissions should be able to pay a baby-sitter if they need one.

Brush also said many of the boards require a great deal of preparation before meetings, and groups such as the planning and zoning commission often meet twice a month.

"We can talk about it for the future," Brush said.

According to Pataskala's city charter, "salaries so established shall not be changed to be effective during the current term of office," which means that any pay increase approved by City Council would not take effect until after the next election for council seats.

During the city's Oct. 29 finance committee meeting, Brush asked staff members to look at wages paid to council members in other jurisdictions and to people in other jurisdictions serving on municipal boards and commissions.

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