Wauseon Council tables wage scale changes

By Quintin Gigax - For the Expositor

City employee wages were discussed by the Wauseon City Council on Monday.

The Finance Committee report began the night and it was said that they had been presented with a study done by Clemens & Nelson in reference to wages for government employees. The study was requested by the city to compare the Wauseon’s average pay scale with local governments around Northwest Ohio, including Maumee, Napoleon, and Bryan.

The recommendations were to amend the wage scale in the city’s compensation plan to provide for an across the board increase of 11 percent, to increase the current wages in the fire department by six percent, and to amend to revise the wage classification for firefighter/EMT from a 10 to 13. The first two were recommended as attempts to make the scale more competitive and the classification change was recommended due to changes in job requirements.

Moving from this, a small argument began over the information coming from the study as well as complaints of poor communication.

As well issues arose with the method of the pay raise. Council member Harold Stickley noted this saying, “I don’t like percentage raises, as a businessman, it’s bad business.” He added the spread of wages among employees grows greater as opposed to raises of a specific monetary value.

Council member Shane Chamberlin also expressed concerns about whether the study that was done accounted for income tax revenue, due to the fact that the city tax revenue has decreased. There was some concern that the city might not be able to pay for the raises fully.

As a result of these concerns and worries, council moved unanimously to break up the legislation into three parts, each of which were voted to be tabled for further review by council.

Department reports came next with the Fire Chief Rick Sluder saying that despite the fact that the temperature over the coming days is supposed to increase people should still be safe when on the streets.

It was also reported that the fifth grade class in Wauseon Schools was the first to graduate the D.A.R.E. program in 13 years. Also, final plans have been approved for the repaving of Shoop Avenue between Airport Highway and Elm Street intersections.

Lastly, the council voted in favor of allowing the mayor to enter into an agreement with the most competitive electrical supplier for aggregation.

By Quintin Gigax

For the Expositor