WJ council raises pay for two jobs

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West Jefferson’s council vice president and Planning & Zoning chairman will start the new year with a few extra dollars for their service to the community, following legislation approved by council Dec. 17.

Council made the pay adjustments based on the increased responsibilities of the two positions. Previously, the council vice president received $125 per meeting, the same pay that other council members receive. The new pay rate is $150 per meeting. (The council president is paid $175 per meeting.) The P&Z chairman previously received $70 per meeting; the new rate is $100 per meeting.

Mayor-elect Scott Hockenbery said the pay increases are well deserved.

“Council’s vice president designation has received the same compensation as regular members on the council over the years. However, it’s the vice president who is in line to step up to do the duties of council president whenever the president is not available to fulfill those duties,” Hockenbery said.

Additionally, the vice president is expected to attend many committee meetings that other councilmen are not required to attend.

“The work load of our P&Z chairman is also increasing with the development coming to West Jefferson,’’ Hockenbery said.

In other action:

• Council approved the transfer of West Jefferson’s CRA agreement with MTB developers to the FedEx Corp. as a legal matter to facilitate the FedEx development in the village’s industrial park.

• Council authorized Public Service Director Harold Walker to seek bids for a new 2007 or 2008 model four-wheel drive pick-up truck.

• Council gave Finance Director Jack Herrel the go-ahead to explore the pos-sibilities and expenses involved in incor-porating the Ohio Uniform Account-ing Network from the State of Ohio Auditor’s Office into the village’s accounting system.

“This is an accounting program avail-able through the state which can actually save the village dollars,’’ Hockenbery said.

West Jefferson’s current accounting system is old. The new system would include maintenance and updates to computer programming.

• Council approved its committees for 2008:

Public Service—Randy Otis, chairman, Ron Garver and Doug Eakins.

Finance—Garver, chairman, Darlene Steele and Gene Sidner.

Police—Doug Eakins, chairman, Randy Otis and Sheila Nelson.

Employee Benefits—Sidner, chairman, Nelson and Jim King.

Parks and Recreation—Nelson, chair-man, Otis and Sidner.

Development: Steele, chairman, Garver and King.

Special Events: King, chairman, Eakins and Steele.

Due to the timing of the holidays, council voted to change the date of its first meeting in 2008 from Jan. 7 to Jan. 2. At that meeting, council will hold its annual reorganization proceedings, which includes electing a president and vice president.

Swearing-in ceremonies for Scott Hockenbery as mayor and council members Jim King and Doug Eakins are expected to be held prior to the January 2 meeting but no official date or time for those ceremonies had been set as of last week.

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