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Published: Tuesday, 4/23/2013

Rossford mayor wants no part of pay-raise effort

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Rossford Mayor Neil MacKinnon told City Council on Monday he didn’t want a pay raise and asked that the mayor’s office not be included in a pair of proposed city charter amendments that are under consideration.

The president of council said he believed the mayor’s request would doom any chance for pay increases for council members.

One of the proposed charter amendments would raise council members’ pay so they could continue to earn full credit for a state pension, and the other would increase the mayoral salary. Council gave both measures a second reading Monday night and was expected to vote on adopting them at its May 13 meeting. For the proposed changes to go into effect, voters would have to approve them on the Nov. 6 election ballot.

They mayor said he believed Rossford’s council members, who are among the lowest paid in the area, deserved a raise, but he did not because he has been in office only 13 months.

“I personally don’t know what the mayor’s salary should be,” he said. “I don’t feel comfortable asking for any additional compensation. ... I don’t want to be considered for a raise.”

There was no discussion. The only comment came from Councilman Greg Marquette, who joked, “So you’re going to throw us to the wolves.”

After the meeting, Council President Larry Oberdorf said he still expected an adoption vote on the charter changes next month, but council would honor the mayor’s request and vote not to send the proposal raising the mayoral salary to the voters.

Mr. Oberdorf also said he believed the mayor’s action would mean voter rejection of the proposed council pay raise. “People will say if the mayor doesn’t deserve a pay raise, why should council members?”

Council members are paid $250 per month (its president, $275), a stipend that has not changed since 1993. The pay increase stipulated by the proposed charter changes would increase the proposed council salary to $700 per month so members could continue to accrue full credit in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. The mayoral salary would increase from $625 per month to $1,500.

The issue of a pay raise for council has been under discussion since last year. It came about as a result of an increase in the minimum pay set by OPERS for full pension credit that takes effect Jan. 1.

A survey conducted for council showed that Rossford council members were the second-lowest paid in the area. Only Ottawa Hills council members, who get $120 annually, are paid less.

Contact Carl Ryan at: carlryan@theblade.com or 419-724-6095.



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