City officials are working to maintain salaries with raises and cost of living increases and those in the local community are speaking out.
City Council brought the potential raises to the public Monday evening. Zanesville Resident Cyndi Royce spoke against the ordinance at the meeting, stating she doesn’t feel the raises are justified considering issues that remain prevalent in the city.
“Well I was looking at the agenda and I saw that they’re going to try and raise their pay when they don’t have money to fix our streets,” said Royce. “They don’t have money to fix the hooker problem. They don’t have money to fix the drug problem. We’ve got people in my area, the Ridge. Ave. area that are working two jobs. The husband’s working two jobs. The wife’s working two jobs. The kid’s working at McDonald’s just to make ends meet. ”
City officials that could see raises include the Mayor, President of Council, Council Members, Law Director, Auditor, and Treasurer of the City of Zanesville. The Auditor would see the biggest bump with $1,933 added to salary and a 1.7 percent cost of living increase.
Fifth Ward Council Member David Tarbert explained that an independent committee stepped in to compare our city officials’ pay to those in many other locations in the buckeye state and they recommended raises for those they found were not being paid equally to those in their positions around the state.
“They contacted comparable cities around Ohio and they looked at data and they crunched numbers and they did everything they could do,”said Tarbert. “They compared our Auditor to other city Auditors similar sizes. They compared our Treasurer, the Law Director, the City Council, to other similar situated cities and they came back with a recommendation. ”
Tarbert also said while Royce’s points are valid and many problems need to be addressed in our community, the council is working to do their part in the improvements. He said money will not solve all the problems brought up in the petition by Royce. The issue to consider raises will go onto a second reading.
Council hopes to bring in representatives from the independent committee to speak at the next meeting and Tarbert encouraged the public to attend.