June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Salaries raised for Medina mayor, finance director

Medina City Council voted 6-1 on Monday to raise the pay for the mayor and finance director.

The ordinance calls for the mayor’s salary to rise from $73,820.50 to about $80,000 and the finance director’s salary to increase from $82,341.22 to about $85,000 by 2017.

Dennis Hanwell

Keith Dirham

Councilman Mark Kolesar, 3rd Ward, was the only member to vote against the raises.

“You obviously don’t get into some of these positions for the money,” he said. “We’ve had employees that haven’t seen this kind of increase. We’ve had to reduce hours; some had to freeze pay.”

Because of the Affordable Care Act, city officials have cut part-time hours for about 65 city employees, saying Medina could not afford to pay for health benefits for those employees as required by the law.

Scheduled to take effect next year, the Obama administration announced Friday that the employer mandate will be delayed until 2015.

Councilman Bill Lamb, at-large, said he agreed with the salary increases.

“We want that operation run well, to ensure that we are going to attract people,” he said. “I think we need to pay them a wage that is relevant to the size of the community and to the work that we expect done.”

The raises will go into effect in stages over the next four years, so the mayor would be paid $75,319.14 in 2014, $76,848.20 in 2015, $78,408.20 in 2016 and $79,999.92 in 2017 — about a 2 percent increase each year.

The finance director would be paid $82,997.98 in 2014, $83,659.94 in 2015, $84,327.36 in 2016 and $84,999.98 in 2017, an approximately 0.8 percent increase each year.

Over the past four years, Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell received a 4.5 percent raise annually and Finance Director Keith Dirham received a 3 percent increase each year.

The salaries must be set before the Aug. 7 candidate filing deadline for offices — which include the mayor and finance director — up for election in November.

Council members previously decided not to raise their own salaries, instead keeping them at $6,000 a year for Council members and $9,000 a year for the Council president.

In other action

Also Monday, Council voted to upgrade 41 city computers for $48,800 and purchase five new laptops for the Police Department at a cost of $24,865.

Sgt. Darin Zaremba, who is the network administrator for the department, said the upgrade was needed because the computers were failing and Microsoft no longer would support Windows XP.

The new laptops were needed, he said, in order to outfit several new police cruisers, as well as to provide wireless backup for the dispatch center.

Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or kfischer@medina-gazette.com.