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Published: 3/31/2009

Mayor submits measures to decrease employee compensation

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Council declined to immediately consider the seven ordinances with a 6-3 vote.

Councilmen D. Michael Collins, Michael Ashford, and Frank Szollosi voted against the proposed ordinances. Councilmen Lindsay Webb, Betty Shultz, and Phil Copeland were absent from the meeting.

The proposals came on the heels of the mayor's presentation Monday of new measures for dealing with the city's deficit. Among his suggestions were to slash all city salaries by 10 percent, with the exception of employees in the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 7, the Toledo Municipal Court, and exempt workers.

He also is seeking to suspend contributions to the employees' share into their state retirement pension system, which is a contractual obligation. That would save the city about $5.3 million through Dec. 31.

Excluded would be municipal court employees and Local 7 workers.

Robert Reinbolt, the mayor's chief of staff, said Ohio case law allows council to make the adjustments.

But Dan Wagner, the president of the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association, disagreed.

"It's not legal and if they did do it, we'd be in court," Mr. Wagner said.

Council also voted 9-0 to approve a suggestion made by Councilman Joe McNamara that would commit $3.9 million from the city's 0.75 percent income tax toward the general fund to be used for police and fire.

His plan create a $3.9 million reserve fund within the city's capital improvement budget, pending a Sept. 15 vote on the change of the allocation of the income tax.

City Council has scheduled an emergency meeting for 1 p.m. April 7.



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