Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Mason studies city pay

Questions on salaries of two workers sparks call for review

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - The city is reviewing how much it's paying its staff in comparison with other employers.

The study will include hiring ranges and requirements for various positions at corporations and other municipalities from Northern Kentucky to Columbus, Councilman Steve Osborne said.

The issue was raised during a council meeting Monday night when council members debated the salaries of two employees.

"I don't think the city of Mason will ever pay top dollar and I don't think our citizens necessarily want us to pay top dollar," said Osborne, who chairs council's Employee Relations Committee. "But we do want to be competitive; because if you're not competitive enough, you actually end up paying more money because of the turnover issues."

Council members had questioned whether the pay scale they were setting for the newly created information technology technician - between $16.82 and $20.44 an hour - was competitive. Several members suggested that the range might need to be raised to get someone with the knowledge the city is looking for.

The city now has one information technology manager. Fairfield, which has similar needs, has three IT professionals, according to Mason Assistant City Manager Eric Hansen.

Some council members also expressed reservations about giving a Mason Municipal Court deputy clerk a $4,000 raise. Council eventually voted 5-1 to amend an earlier payroll change and put the deputy clerk at $28,600 a year (up from $24,600), the same salary level as the court's four other deputy clerks.

Councilman John McCurley voted no, saying he wanted to stay consistent with the earlier vote on the court staffers' raises. He has pointed out that those raises are higher than city employees' 5 percent raise.


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