Rossford City Council accepted a fact finder's recommendations for a new contract with the Ohio Patrolmen's Benevolent Association last night after discussing it in executive session.
Council voted 6-1 to accept the recommendations, which included wage increases for its patrolmen and sergeants of 11/2 percent the first year, 2 percent the second year, and 4 percent in the contract's third year.
Mayor Mark Zuchowski said the bulk of the discussion centered on health insurance. Fact finder Stanley Dobry recommended an 80 percent/20 percent city/employer split in insurance premiums for families. He suggested single individual increase splits at 90/10 and two-person household splits at 85/15.
Councilman James Richards said he voted against the plan because he feared the city could not afford it and it could lead to layoffs.
“Unless we come into a windfall that our ways and means committee has not anticipated or the economy turns around miraculously, we will be sitting here next year wondering what we are going to do about city staff,” Mr. Richards said.
“I'm not denying our patrol officers. They deserve everything we can give them. I don't want to do anything that could lead to layoffs.”
Mr. Zuchowski said the city and the association had been trying to work out an agreement since October. He said the city will prepare legislation incorporating the recommendations and present it to council, which could vote by the next meeting. He said the officers' association has approved the recommendations.