Licking County News


City Council salaries to increase 67 percent


Pataskala City Council on April 1 approved pay raises for council members starting in 2014.

The vote was 4-3, with Dan Hayes, Merissa McKinstry and Pat Sagar dissenting.

City Council has not increased its members' salaries or the mayor's since Pataskala became a city in 1997.

City Council salaries will increase from $3,000 to $5,000 annually as candidates are elected to open seats.

Three seats will open this year and the incumbents -- Bernard Brush, Bryan Lenzo and McKinstry -- have not said if they will seek re-election.

McKinstry wanted to table the legislation and send it to the finance committee for further review but her request was voted down 4-3 by Brush, Mike Compton, Mike Fox and Lenzo.

McKinstry said City Council has been very transparent about finances, reviewing expenses from $1 to $25,000, which is why the finance committee should review the legislation.

Sagar agreed. She said she voted against the higher salary because it is a 67 percent increase.

The legislation includes a $500 a year stipend for the council president.

City Council members also voted 6-1, with McKinstry dissenting, to table a resolution increasing the mayor's salary from $13,000 to $15,000 annually. Lenzo made the motion to table it pending changes that will be introduced at a future meeting.

Hayes suggested tying parts of the mayor's increase to attendance on boards and commissions, because the mayor is the city's representative to many different groups.

The mayor also will be up for re-election this year, and Steve Butcher has not said if he will run.

Both pieces of legislation were introduced in one resolution and were split into two on request from Brush. Resolutions require only one reading before passage.