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Rossford considers pay raises for department heads

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Pay raises could soon be in order for several department heads in Rossford.

City council heard a first reading of an ordinance at Monday night’s meeting for 6 percent pay increases for nine nonunion positions, including police chief and fire chief. These employees have not been granted a raise since 2016.

The current salaries and positions affected are:

● City administrator: $78,186.81

● Superintendent, public works (Tyler Kolb): $63,867.70

● Finance director (Karen Freeman): $69,890.10

● Fire chief (Josh Drouard): $69,890.10

● Assistant fire chief (Ryan Stautzenbach): $20.22/hour

● Police chief (Todd Kitzler): $69,890.10

● Parks and recreation director (Toby Ledesma): $54,094.35

● Parks and recreation assistant director (Alexa Owen): $40,116.19

● Clerk of council (Bob Watrol): $5,245.20

City Administrator Ed Ciecka was appointed in June and is serving on an interim, part-time basis. Mayor Neil MacKinnon expects to fill the position early next year.

The finance and insurance committee recommended the 6 percent figure. Employees would receive a 3 percent raise retroactive to Jan. 1, then another 3 percent in January, 2019. Mayor MacKinnon’s suggested salaries were slightly higher and based on comparisons to the same positions in communities in and around northwest Ohio.

Council rejected a similar ordinance 5-0 Monday with the mayor’s figures.

“The team we have is amazing and they haven’t received a raise for the last three years,” Mayor MacKinnon said. “They do an incredible job and I think they should be rewarded for what they’ve done and are doing. They’re remarkable people.”

The city’s union employees received a 3 percent raise in their latest three-year contract.

Councilman Bob Densic supports the 6 percent raises and said they are overdue.

“It wasn’t right to ask them to keep working for the same wages they were earning in 2016,” Mr. Densic said. “We have some dedicated and hard-working staff members and it’s time to recognize that.”

Mr. Densic added that council needs to have further discussion on job titles and descriptions, benefits, merit-based systems, and performance reviews.

Council appears to support the pay increases, although there was initial disagreement on how to determine a percentage. During a Sept. 24 meeting, Councilman Larry Oberdorf suggested a merit-based system. Councilman Greg Marquette said he would not support paying for an outside study to determine rates.

Contact Jay Skebba at jskebba@theblade.com, 419-376-9414, or on Twitter @JaySkebba.

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