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Council approves pay bump for mayor, law director

 

Andrew Bemer

Mayor Pam Bobst

By Sue Botos

Rocky River – For the first time in eight years, City Council has raised the mayor and law director’s salaries in what Council President Jim Moran referred to as housekeeping measures during a recent City Council session.

Beginning January 1, 2018, the compensation for the mayor’s position will rise from $81,500 to $99,975 annually, while the law director’s yearly salary increases from $56,000 to $59,000. “These raises refer to the position and not the person,” Moran said, emphasizing that the legislation does not specifically refer to Mayor Pam Bobst and Law Director Andy Bemer.

The salaries are reviewed prior to each two-year election cycle.

Moran said other responsibilities have been added to the mayor’s job description, including economic development. The position was eliminated during budget belt-tightening several years ago, saving the city $75,000 annually.

During the city master plan makeover currently underway, administrators have been working with the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission. Bobst has remarked that the expertise brought to the process by the commission has been invaluable.

According to Moran, the increase in mayoral salary was spurred by the pay hikes received by various city employees who are members of collective bargaining units. As a result of last year’s negotiations, some workers ended up with salaries higher than their non-union supervisors.

The mayor’s position does not include benefits other than access to a city vehicle, specified vacation days, sick days or longevity pay as demanded by union contracts. Moran said the pay hike makes the position comparable to area mayors.

In addition, earlier this year, council approved raises to the positions of safety service director and finance director. Both of these jobs call for compensation in the mid-$90,000s, and report to the mayor.

“We had a situation where the position of mayor was upside down,” said Moran, referring to the traditional pyramid-styled pay structure.

Concerning the law director’s raise, Moran said there will be a $3,000 increase in pay, but hourly compensation for representing the city in court proceedings will remain at $100 per hour.

“This position was due for an increase,” said Moran, adding, “Council appreciates that the law director has held the same salary through some tough economic times.”

Pay for City Council members will remain at $12,000 yearly after receiving an increase two years ago and the City Council president salary will stay at $13,500.

 

 

 

 

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