By Jeff Gallatin
A proposal giving Bay elected officials their first pay raise since 2009 was approved by City Council Monday.
A proposal giving the mayor, council at large and four ward members raises of 2 percent in 2014, and 1 percent each in 2015, 2016 and 2017, was approved by council at Monday’s council meeting. Since the City Council president’s post is on a different election cycle and is not on the ballot for two years, council removed that position from the legislation. Councilwoman Karen Lieske voted against the legislation, saying they should not be giving raises to elected officials in the continued tight economy. Councilman Dave Tadych joined her in voting against the pay raise for council members, saying after his latest review of city budget projections, they should wait on the council raise.
By law, the salaries must be in place by the primary filing deadline for the next election for elected officials for the next four years. The raises will take effect next year. The filing deadline is today (June 12) for Cuyahoga County municipal officials who could be involved in a September 2013 primary.
Prior to Monday, the Bay officials’ salaries were mayor, $80,350; at large and the four ward positions, $8,058.
Both Mayor Debbie Sutherland and City Council Finance Committee Chairman Mike Young noted
that the salaries for elected officials had been frozen since 2009.
“We’ve been studying different ideas and came up with what appeared to be fair,” Sutherland said. “It’s essentially the same as been offered to the city employees.”
Young said in reviewing other area cities, the council members found that their pay was largely not at other communities’ levels.
“We’ve had no increases since 2009, which is because of two factors,” Young said. “One, the bad economy and the conditions everybody has been dealing with. And two, we wanted to set a tone with our salaries by taking that freeze during such poor economic conditions.”
Young said since the pay ordinance has to be set before the next elections, city officials did review the other salaries and found they were lower compared to those of other councils.
“We at least wanted to be a little more in line with other councils when we started the next term, so we thought the percentages we came up with were fair,” he said. “This is for the next four years, so it’s not going to change again for a while.”