Whitehall News

Future council members

Ward representatives to see raise in 2014, at-large in 2016

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Future ward representatives of Whitehall City Council will receive a raise beginning in 2014, but at-large council members won't receive more money until 2016.

None had received a raise since 1996, but during their Oct. 2 meeting, Whitehall City Council members unanimously passed on ordinance to provide a salary increase for ward members beginning Jan. 1, 2014, and for at-large members starting Jan. 1, 2016.

The salary of council members will increase from $4,000 annually to $4,600 annually; the salary of the council president will increase from $4,700 to $5,400 annually.

"Council members are underpaid," councilman Bob Bailey said.

The ordinance was approved without any further discussion Oct. 2. The ordinance was introduced Sept. 4 and received three readings without any public opposition.

Department directors have received raises since 1996, but council members opted not to provide raises for themselves when salary increases for the administration were approved.

In other action, council members passed five ordinances and three resolutions, including special permits for the construction of a temporary building and for an automotive repair shop.

Public hearings were held for both special-permit applications. No one spoke in support or opposition in either case.

Council voted 6-1 to approve a special permit for the construction of a temporary building at Kroger, 3675 E. Broad St. Councilman Wes Kantor dissented.

The temporary building, to be built in the parking lot of the store, will be used as a pharmacy for Kroger customers during renovations at the store.

The temporary building will be used as a pharmacy for about four weeks, a company spokeswoman said.

Prior to approval, council members questioned security measures for the temporary structure and how customers would enter and leave.

Council members unanimously approved a special permit to allow an automotive repair business at a parcel at 4429 E. Main St.

Other legislation approved included an ordinance transferring $6,600 from the various general-fund accounts to the director-of-information-technology salary account; an ordinance transferring $250,000 from a tax-increment-financing fund to the general fund; a resolution authorizing the mayor to contract with the Ohio Department of Transportation for the upgrade of traffic-control equipment; a resolution authorizing the mayor to apply for a grant for traffic-control upgrades; and an ordinance making a supplemental appropriation of $100,000 from the general fund to the legal-defense expense account.

The additional appropriation is related to the city's continuing effort in Environmental Court to obtain a court order to demolish Woodcliff Condominiums as a public nuisance.

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