SILVER LAKE — The mayor is asking council to change the village’s salary ordinance to provide increased pay to the municipality’s employees.
Council will discuss the proposed revisions at a Committee of the Whole meeting at 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 4, in village hall, 2961 Kent Road. The regular council meeting will follow at 7.
Mayor Bernie Hovey said he is offering the proposal in an effort to retain employees.
"Our employees are among the lowest paid in the area," said Hovey. "We have lost several employees over the last few years due mainly to the low pay, as well as the too numerous steps involved in the salary structure. I propose higher starting salaries, higher and earlier [cost-of-living pay increases], and a reduction in steps."
The mayor said the village spends 36 percent of its budget on wages and benefits, and noted his proposed changes would increase the percentage to 37 percent. The mayor’s proposed revisions are projected to cost an additional $11,718 in 2019, according to a village budget sheet.
Council had a finance and appropriations committee meeting on Aug. 2 in which Hovey offered his recommendations. The mayor noted that since 2010, the employees had, in total, received a 4.5 percent cost-of-living increase in pay, but cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients has gone up by 10.8 percent during the same time frame.
The Social Security Act connects the cost-of-living increases for Social Security recipients to the increase in the Consumer Price Index, according to the Social Security Administration’s website.
After a nearly hour-long discussion on Aug. 2, Council members said they wanted to examine the mayor’s proposed changes in connection with both the overall 2019 budget and a five-year projection of expenses.
Councilmember Dann Nivens (District A) asked Clerk-Treasurer Sean Housley to provide council with a list of all employees with their current pay level and what level they are expected to be at in five years.
Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, email@example.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.