By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport City Council members and the mayor will receive their first pay raises in 25 years in 2018.
On April 24, council approved:
•raising council’s annual salary from $3,000 to $6,000 effective Jan. 1, 2018; and
•raising the mayor’s annual salary from $18,250 to $26,000 effective Jan. 1, 2018.
Also, effective Jan. 1, 2018, the mayor’s health insurance coverage will reflect the same coverage offered to full time city employees.
According to Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall, the change to the mayor’s medical insurance will result in savings to the city.
Currently the city pays $4,190 per month, or $50,287 per year, for the mayor’s health insurance plan. By changing it to reflect the city employees’ health insurance plan, city officials state the cost for the mayor’s insurance coverage drops to $2,353 per month, or $33,745 per year.
Mayor Lance Westcamp said he supported the council pay raise saying it is “well deserved.”
“The community has grown and council members put in a lot of time and effort in their position,” said Westcamp.
Regarding the change in the mayor’s health insurance, Westcamp said, “The big thing is it decreases the cost of the insurance by about $17,000. That’s a big savings.”
Westcamp, who is in his 23rd year as mayor and is the longest serving mayor in Groveport’s history, said the increase in salary for the mayor’s position reflects the growth of the town and mayoral responsibilities connected to that growth.
“Since I became mayor in 1994 we’ve grown from a village to a city,” said Westcamp. “Also, in 1994 we had 12 to 15 police officers and now we have 28 full time officers. A big part of the mayor’s job is serving as the city’s chief law enforcement officer.”
But, Westcamp added, “I don’t do this job for the money. I like running the council meetings. The people of Groveport take pride in their city and the city employees and council take pride in the community. I’m proud of the services the city can provide to the residents and I’m proud to serve as mayor.”
City officials surveyed several area municipalities to see what they pay their elected officials and also reviewed the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission’s 2016 Annual Salary and Fringe Benefit Survey. These survey findings indicate there is a range in annual salaries for councils and mayors in Central Ohio.
Here are the annual salaries for some area city councils: Bexley, $6,360; Canal Winchester, $6,592; Dublin, $11,250; Grove City, $6,000 (this will rise to $11,000 in 2018); Obetz, $6,480; Pickerington, $7,200; Reynoldsburg, $7,500; Whitehall, $5,200.
Here are the annual salaries for some area mayors: Bexley (no city administrator), $107,702; Canal Winchester (no city administrator), $90,125; Dublin, $15,750; Grove City, $25,000; Obetz, $21,600; Pickerington, $12,000; Reynoldsburg, $9,700; and Whitehall (no city administrator), $82,500.
Regarding other area elected officials, the Madison Township trustees are paid $20,568 per year. Madison Township Administrator Susan Brobst said the township trustees’ salary is based on the township budget, per the Ohio Revised Code.
Members of the Groveport Madison Board of Education, who meet one to two times per month, are paid $125 per meeting, according to Groveport Madison Schools Treasurer John Walsh.
Certainly seems time for this.
We have such great people serving the city.