By John A. Ballentine
The LaFayette village board of trustees began their regularly scheduled monthly meeting Monday following a village caucus to nominate people for election to the village board. After the minutes, bills and treasurer’s report were read and approved, the board discussed the two items listed on the agenda.
First, a pay increase for village clerk Robin Bartley and village treasurer Lorrie Woith was approved after discussion on the appropriate amount.
Both Bartley and Woith have been paid $480 per year for the village positions each holds. That equals $40 per month, or $10 per week. Bartley said that the pay has not been increased for at least eight years that she was aware of. It was unclear how many hours per week each official works on village business.
Trustee Rick Shipman said, “What would you say that [$480] is an hour? About 20¢ an hour? I think to be honest, at least a minimum of $15 an hour [would be appropriate for the increase]. Woith replied that she knows what the village’s finances are and that $15 an hour was too steep an increase.
Village President Donald “Greg” Bartley inquired, “Would anybody [on the board] object to $600? That’s $120 more a year.”
Trustee Clarence Wagher stated, “Well, I was going to suggest $300 a year [increase] for both of them, additional.” That would increase the total yearly wage to $780 per year for each the clerk and the treasurer.
The amount of $300 would be an increase of 62% of their current wage earnings. Divided by 12 months would equal $65 per month, or $16.25 per week.
The $300 increase to $780 per year was unanimously approved by trustees Larry Townsend, Vicki McRell, Chris Smith, Clarence Wagher and Rick Shipman. Jeff O’Bryant was absent.
The second item on the agenda concerned possibly increasing the hourly pay for part-time village employee Cody Wentz, Robin Bartley’s son. Wentz is currently paid $10 per hour for general maintenance around the village. He is also paid $75 per month to accomplish routine duties associated with the water department, such as testing the water on a daily basis.
After discussions, the board decided that Wentz should remain at $10 per hour for the next six months. After that time, the board would conduct a pay increase review in May, 2017 for Wentz.
The board members discussed village speed limits and signs to be posted because of numerous allegations and complaints received concerning speeding in the village. No action could be taken because this was not on the agenda. It was decided to possibly contact the Stark County Sheriff’s Department to have a deputy sheriff conduct random monitoring of drivers’ speed within LaFayette.
By John A. Ballentine