City Council pay raise considered; plus dog leash law pending

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Discussions are underway regarding whether Groveport City Council members should get a pay raise.

In 2018, council members, as well as the mayor, received their first pay raises in 25 years as council’s annual salary rose from $3,000 to $6,000 and the mayor’s annual salary increased from $18,250 to $26,000.

This current round of potential salary increase discussions does not include the mayor’s salary.

The Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s 2023 Annual Salary and Fringe Benefit Survey indicates there is a range in annual salaries for city council members in Central Ohio. According to this survey, here are the annual salaries for some area city councils: Canal Winchester, ranges from $6,592 to $7,251; Dublin, $11,250; Grove City, $11,000; Gahanna, 9,600; Grandview, $8,000; Hilliard, 13,804; Lancaster, $9,500; Pataskala, $5,071; Reynoldsburg, $7,920; Sunbury, $8,800; Whitehall, $6,500; Worthington, $7,920.

According to the Groveport City Charter, salaries for elected officials can be adopted no later than July 1 of each odd numbered year and are effective for two years beginning Jan. 1 of the year immediately following the adoption of legislation establishing the salaries.

Council will discuss the potential of raising council members’ salaries at its committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 19 at 5:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.

Dog leash law

Groveport City Council is poised to enact legislation to tighten the leash regarding dogs in public places.

Council is considering legislation to amend the city’s general offenses code 505.01, titled “Dogs and other animals running at large” by adding the sentence, “Keep the dog under the reasonable control of some person by a leash when walking upon any public place.”

Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon said the law would be enforced by the police and offenders could be subject to a fine up to $150 plus court costs.

Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert said the action is needed to protect both residents and dogs.

“I had a friend who was walking her leashed dog in another community and an unleashed dog running loose attacked them and caused a lot of damage,” said Hilbert. “It’s safer for residents and dogs to enact this rule.”

Councilman Scott Lockett agreed with Hilbert, but added that next year council should consider constructing a dog park where people could run their dogs in a safer, more controlled environment.

Added Councilman Ed Dildine, “I love the idea of a dog park. I know the one at Walnut Woods Metro Park is heavily used.”

Groveport City Administrator B.J. King said the proposed revision to the law is also a matter of “cleaning up the code.”

“As we review our codes, it seems like a proactive move to make to assure safety of the community,” said King.

King said the term “public place” includes parks and publicly owned facilities, including sidewalks. He said there is no leash length requirement. He said the proposed revision to the law does not impact dogs on private property.

“Dogs can be off leash on private property,” said King.

Council will vote on the proposed leashed dog amendment at a future meeting.

Per another existing city ordinance, people are prohibited from bringing animals to city sponsored event and festival areas, such as Apple Butter Day, Fourth of July celebration, and KidsFest. This law does not apply to guide or service dogs, police dogs, animal exhibits at the events, or pets on residential properties within the event area.

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