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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
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Published: Wednesday, 4/16/2014 - Updated: 3 months ago

Commissioners OK raises for county employees

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Lucas County commissioners Tuesday unanimously approved 3-percent raises for the county sheriff’s employees, Emergency Medical Service responders, and the county Recorder’s Office.

Laura Lloyd-Jenkins, county administrator, said the raises are all retroactive to Jan. 1.

United Auto Workers Local 12, which represents the 395 non-command sheriff’s employees, signed a one-year contract agreement, as did the recorder’s office, which has eight employees and is represented by American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 544.

Sheriff John Tharp said negotiations between the county and command officers are ongoing.

The EMS employees’ contract that the commissioners approved Tuesday is for three years, but covers wages only for the first year, when a 3-percent increase is provided. The pact with the 15 EMS workers, also represented by Local 12, includes a wage reopener for the final two years.

Commissioners in March approved a 3-percent wage-reopener contract with the 58 workers in the clerk’s office, another Local 12 unit. Their increase was also retroactive to Jan. 1.

In other action, commissioners:

● Postponed giving the sheriff’s department permission to accept a 2014 Marine Patrol Assistance Grant for $27,000. Commissioners Tina Skeldon Wozniak, Pete Gerken, and board President Carol Contrada all expressed concern about what they described as ongoing boater complaints that sheriff’s deputies and Coast Guard inspectors are being “overly aggressive” when they stop and search boats.

The commissioners said residents and nonresidents believe they are being unfairly harassed and intimidated, which will encourage them to go to other communities instead.

Sheriff’s officials initially denied the allegations and said they believed most people welcome law enforcement officers to come on board and search their boats. When Board President Contrada asked what percentage of boaters request such searches, sheriff’s officials backed down from their claim.

Commissioners directed sheriff’s officials to look at ways to address the concerns and improve their public image, and report back to the county board for its next discussion of the grant request.

The request is for the sheriff’s department to enter into an agreement with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for the 2014 Marine Patrol Program.

● Passed a resolution urging voters to support State Issue 1, which would provide Ohio with $1.875 billion to use for infrastructure improvements during the next five years. The Renewal of the State Capital Improvements Program will go before voters on the May 6 primary election ballot.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.



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