City council wraps up several ordinances for the year

| December 22, 2015

COSHOCTON – Coshocton City Council wrapped up the contract with the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office at its Dec. 21 meeting, but ordinances involving the description of a new job and wages for several other positions were not as easily finalized.

One of the legislative items set to receive a third reading at the meeting was ordinance 54-15, to accept the job description of property code inspector.

Councilman Bob Fetters felt that $30,000 a year was too high for the part time salary position to start at and that it needed to be much lower.

Their also was some discussion about making the position hourly instead of salary.

“It’s an experimental position,” Councilman Tom Grier said. “We don’t know what jobs will be out there for the person or how they will be spending their day on them. They may have a couple hours of work, none or 20.”

Grier also asked how the position will be filled. Mayor Steve Mercer informed him that it will be an appointed position. Councilman Grier said he would prefer the position be advertised in the media.

“I’ve been dealing with codes my whole life and there are a lot of legal and technical aspects to it,” Grier said. “We need to advertise this job and have a group to select someone who is right for it….plus we just lost 200 some jobs at WestRock and this should be made available to anyone. I ask that we table this until after the first of the year.”

A motion was made and approved to table ordinance 54-15 until after the first of the year.

City council agreed to remove the mention of the property code inspector in ordinance  59-15 and then passed this ordinance that amends ordinance 33-15, establishing wages for positions that are exempt from collective bargaining.

Ordinances 57-15 and 58-15 also had some discussion before ultimately passing.

Councilman Jim Baker was the one no vote versus six yes votes to ordinance 57-15 that establishes wages for council members, president of council and clerk of council for calendar years 2016 and 2017.

Baker said with the closing of the WestRock plant and the jobs that were lost there he was not comfortable excepting a pay raise for himself.

He and Councilman Bob Fetters also voted no on ordinance 58-15 that establishes wages and increases in pay for the mayor, law director and auditor. Fetters felt their pay took too much of a jump, but City Auditor Sherry Kirkpatrick reminded council that the wages for these positions have been frozen since 2011. The ordinance ended up passing with five yes votes and two no votes.

The meeting ended with Council President Cliff Biggers announcing that Councilman Bob Pell is resigning as of Jan. 1, 2016.

“We appreciate the work you have done with us here and thank you for a job well done,” Biggers said.

Pell thanked the council members for their well wishes and said he learned a lot from his time with them.

“There are a lot of hardworking people here who are working together to solve problems,” he said. “This (position) was an eye-opener for me and I hope to be back someday.”

Biggers said the Republican Central Committee will appoint someone to complete Pell’s two year term that is set to start on Jan. 1, 2016.

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Category: Government

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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