Grove City salaries debated


By Andrea Cordle
Southwest Editor

The mayor of Grove City will receive a pay raise next year, but members of council will not.

At the Aug. 17 meeting, Grove City Council voted on two ordinances for salary increases – one for the mayor; the other for council members.

According to the legislation, the mayor of Grove City is currently paid $20,000 a year and has not had a salary increase since 2003. The ordinance says the mayor would receive $25,000 a year effective Jan. 1, 2016. The mayor would then receive $30,000 the following year and $40,000 as of January 2018.

Council members have also not received a pay increase since 2003. Members of council currently receive $6,000 each year and the council president receives $6,500. The proposed ordinance suggested a salary increase to $9,000 effective Jan. 1, 2016 for council members and $9,500 for council president. In January 2018, council members would receive $11,000, while the council president would get $11,500.

Chuck Boso, city administrator and author of the legislation, said he determined the pay scale based on what other municipalities pay its mayor and council members.

“I feel it’s warranted and well deserved,” said Boso.

The biggest debate about the legislation was not the amount of the salary increase, but when to vote on it.

Councilwoman Maria Klemack-McGraw was not present at the meeting due to a family emergency. Via email, she asked the other council members to postpone the salary increase ordinances so she had the opportunity to join the discussion. Council president Ted Berry suggested holding a special council meeting on Aug. 24 to accommodate Klemack-McGraw. Other council members said no.

Councilwoman Laura Lanese said a measure to give council members a pay raise should not be done in a special meeting, where less community members are present.

“I don’t want to vote on this during a special meeting,” said Lanese. “In the interest of transparency and openness, a special meeting is not the best way to do it.”

Councilman Jeff Davis wanted to hold off on the vote until December. Davis and Lanese are up for re-election this November.

“I don’t want to vote for something that acts as pure self interest,” said Davis.

He said if council held off until December, the pay increase would not go into effect until 2017.

Councilman Steve Bennett said Davis and Lanese wanted to hold off on the vote until after elections.

“We don’t need to make this political,” said Bennett.

Berry agreed.

“We have to do what is good for this governing body,” said Berry. “We are here to legislate. We can’t put personal issues before that.”

Since council could not agree on when to vote on the pay raises, they voted on the measure at the meeting. Berry and Bennett voted in favor of the council salary increase, while Davis and Lanese voted against it. The measure needed a majority vote to pass.

Council approved the salary increase for mayor with a 3-1 vote. Lanese voted against it.

Klemack-McGraw’s seat is also up this November, but she is not seeking another term.

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