No pay hikes for Shadyside

SHADYSIDE – Village Council withdrew its legislation to raise officials’ monthly pay after a resident voiced his concern during Wednesday night’s council meeting.

Resident Gregg Warren questioned the decision about the proposed monthly pay increases for council, mayor and board of public affairs.

“I am here to voice my opposition to council’s proposed pay increases for itself, the board of public affairs and the mayor,” said Warren. “At its last meeting, council voted 3-1 in favor of bringing in legislation to increase the wages. … My math, if it’s correct, shows the increases would reduce the village’s general fund by nearly $50,000 each year.”

Currently, the council and board of public affairs members make $250 a month and the mayor makes $350. The pay increases for council and the board of public affairs would have raised the monthly amount to $600 and the mayor would have received $800 monthly. The monthly increase percentage would have been 140 percent for council and the board of public affairs and 114 percent for the mayor. Overall, this pay increase would reduce the general fund by almost $50,000 a year.

Warren also questioned why the number, 600, was so significant, asking if it was to do to the Public Employee Retirement System’s change that took place nearly three months ago.

“What was the significance of $600? It could have been any amount proposed. Could it be because the Ohio General Assembly voted last fall to change the rules concerning the Public Employee Retirement System, or PERS, a system you participate in. The law took effect three months ago,” said Warren. “The General Assembly decided that elected officials like yourselves have to earn at least $600 per month to earn a year’s worth of service credit towards retirement. Basically, it increased the minimum salary eligibility threshold from $250 to $600 a month. That’s interesting.”

Along with this information, Warren also had charts that compared Shadyside to other municipalities in the Ohio Valley. These charts compared other councils and mayors before and after the increases.

“That number was not just magically pulled up from us. … We didn’t base our pay off of what other villages were doing, we based it off of what the state thrust upon the villages at what the minimum is set, that is where the number came from,” said Councilman John Tipton, who first introduced the pay raises at April 9 meeting.

Tipton made a motion to withdraw the decision to increase the monthly pays.

“We are going to make this really easy for you, I make a motion to withdrawal of legislation, but I want to make it understood that (council) did not know what (the other councils are making; that was not part of the discussion, we did what the state said was now part of the qualifying minimums to participate in the Public Employee Retirement System,” said Tipton.

With each council member earning $600 a month, he or she would earn a one year’s worth of service credit with PERS.

“I wasn’t trying to stir up a hornet’s nest, it was the full council or the full committee of finance that we thought we could do this; we thought that we could make it so that the future generations would want to participate,” said Tipton.

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