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City OK's raises

Cary Ashby • Dec 12, 2018 at 10:00 PM

Norwalk city council passed an ordinance Tuesday for the 21 management employees to receive a 2.5-percent raise annually — but with no additional “step increases.”

“That’s for the next three years,” Mayor Rob Duncan said.

Council plans to revisit later the compensation of the following positions: Police chief, fire chief, public works director and safety-service director.

Last week, council members passed a similar 2.5-percent annual raise for both the part-time and non-management employees. 

“None of those increases were funded,” Duncan said, referring to the proposed 2019 budget.

Three or four months ago, council amended ordinances to redo the salary step-increases for the water and wastewater superintendents. Norwalk Law Director Stuart O’Hara said that was done to be more competitive with other cities and villages since the Maple City was having difficulty filling one of the positions.

David Ackerman is the superintendent of the water treatment plant and Wade Leimeister is the superintendent of the wastewater treatment plant, 201 Plank Road. The water treatment plant is located at the intersection of Old State Road and Woodlawn Avenue.

In other action Tuesday, council didn’t make a decision on changing the mayor’s salary, which means the base pay will remain nearly $66,462 for the next four years. The last time council set a new salary was in 2006. Duncan and his predecessor, Sue Lesch, each declined to accept raises when city employees didn’t receive any.

O’Hara said any changes to the mayor’s salary, according to Ohio law, has to be done before a new term starts and the city charter stipulates the latest it could happen is less than 30 days before the filing date at the Huron County Board of Elections. In 2019, the filing date is Feb. 6.

Council president Steve Euton, during last week’s meeting, proposed increasing the mayor’s salary. Fruen Street resident Scott Ford raised the same issue earlier that night, during the public participation segment. He said increasing it was the “fair and just thing to do” for the city’s “chief spokesman” and CEO.

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