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Published: Monday, 9/2/2013 - Updated: 10 months ago

Rossford candidate against council pay increases

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Rossford resident Bob Densic, shown at his Birch Drive home Sunday, is running for city council and said the raises proposed for council members and the mayor are a bad idea. Rossford resident Bob Densic, shown at his Birch Drive home Sunday, is running for city council and said the raises proposed for council members and the mayor are a bad idea.
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A candidate for Rossford City Council said he opposes proposed pay raises for elected officials that will be on the November ballot and said council members should not even be in the state’s retirement system.

Bob Densic, a Rossford resident since 1994 who lives on Birch Drive, said the raises proposed for council members and the mayor are a bad idea, as is including those offices in the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System. He filed his petitions to run with the Wood County Board of Elections on Friday.

“The retirement system is there for public employees, not the elected officials,” Mr. Densic said. “Council members should have nothing to do with OPERS. If I’m elected, I would not belong; I would waive all that.”

One of the proposed Rossford City Charter amendments on the Nov. 6 ballot would raise council members’ pay so they could continue to earn full credit for a state pension, and the other would increase the mayor’s salary.

Council members are paid $250 per month, among the lowest in the area, and its president $275. The stipend has not changed since 1993. The charter change would increase the council salary to $700 per month, so members could continue to accrue full pension credit, in accordance with a new state law.

The mayoral salary would rise from $625 per month to $1,500. Mayor Neil MacKinnon asked that his office not be included in the pay raise requests, but council turned him down.

Mr. Densic said low pay for elected officials is appropriate, along with term limits.

“My recommendation to the voters is to turn down both pay raises for mayor and council,” he said. “If I am elected, I will serve only two terms, then encourage the next citizen to serve his or her community.”

Mr. Densic, 46, has been a regular at Rossford Board of Education meetings and a semi-regular at council meetings for years.

He also has been active in Citizens for Choice, the ad hoc group attempting to put Rossford’s membership in the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority on the November ballot. The group awaits an opinion from the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office on whether it made the filing deadline to put the question on the November ballot.

A registered architect, Mr. Densic is the full-time staff architect for Eastern Michigan University, specializing in facilities management. He volunteered considerable time to the steering committee that came up with options for the Rossford school district to upgrade its aged buildings.

“I’m running for City Council because I need to involve myself,” he explained. “A public servant is a means to a noble end. It’s something we’re really called to do if we’re going to have a government of the people, for the people, by the people.”

He said with governments at all levels assuming more power, “we’re starting to lose touch with what our government is. The government is there to see to the needs of the community.”

His candidacy statement makes his feelings clear: “I will apply the principles of limited government and maximum individual freedom to all decisions I make. I will push for the utmost efficiency in every expenditure of the city of Rossford.”

Mr. Densic lives with his wife, Tiffany, who is running for a seat on the Rossford school board, and niece, Isabella Hall, 12, whose single mom travels often as a flight attendant. He grew up in Millbury and earned his architectural degree at Penn State University.

Rossford’s council will have an open seat in November because Mike Scott resigned last week to take a seat on the board of the Northwestern Water and Sewer District.

Incumbent councilmen Chuck Duricek, Caroline Eckel, and Jerry Staczek, whose current terms expire this year, all have have filed candidacy petitions for re-election.

The filing deadline with the Wood County Board of Elections is 4 p.m. Tuesday.

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



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