NEW PHILADELPHIA – City council has approved seven percent or higher raises for about 41 administrators and non-union positions.
The 4-1 vote Monday for the one-year pay bump came about a month and a half after members shot down a three-year contract with seven percent raises each year.
Two members – Steve Rippeth and Mitch Pace – changed their vote from “no” to “yes.” Back in October, they objected to a three-year contract but said they would be OK with one year.
Other Council members who voted yes said New Philadelphia employees deserve raises and their pay is falling behind that of their counterparts in similar municipalities.
Cheryl Ramos maintained her “no” vote. She had questioned the “similar municipalities” comparisons, expressed concern about setting a precedent for when union contracts come up, and said the city can’t afford annual raises that high.
Mayor Joel Day previously endorsed the raises, saying some other employers were trying to poach New Philadelphia employees. On Monday praised his administrators.
“Much that the city has achieved this year is the result of the leadership and skill of our department heads,” he said. “They quietly carry out their daily duties of managing their offices and workforce and complete projects with not a whole lot of fanfare, but I want to take this time to thank them and I would ask that you do the same.”
Most of the 41 employees listed will get seven percent raises. Nine positions had new, higher base salaries set by the ordinance Council passed Monday. Employees in those positions received the base salary increase plus a seven percent raise.
Among those, the service director went from $86,975 to $106,548; the police chief went from $90,500 to $98,872; the parks and recreation superintendent went from $63,879 to $79,050; the building and zoning administrator went from $45,088 to $63,397; and the income tax administrator went from $59,029 to $74,900.
The pay hikes will cost the city over $220,000 in 2024. The initial proposal for three years of raises would have cost over $630,000.