City workers push for raises

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 29, 2006

After a meeting with the mayor on June 19, city workers pushed for a half-dollar raise during Thursday night’s meeting of the Ironton City Council.

During the meeting, Larry Wells, member and negotiator for American Federation of State, Local, County and Municipal Employees Local 771, said that workers were asking for 50 cent raises across the board, though her had heard that some council members thought 40 cents would be a “better fit.”

“We feel like 50 cents is more than fair,” Wells said. “But we want to move on to something else, but we’ve been without a pay increase for more than three years.”

Email newsletter signup

Council chairman Chuck O’ Leary said that the 40 cent figure had been solely from him, but was more of a jumping off point than a hard and fast figure.

Councilman Bob Cleary said that although that would be a fair one-year increase because of the cost of living, as the workers had not had an increase in three years, the 40-cent figure was too low.

“We’ve got $400,000 left over in the budget, we ought to be able to give them something,” Cleary said.

The council formally introduced new finance director Rob Thompson to the community. In his first few days Thompson had already set up meetings with the county’s chief deputy auditor, Chris Klein, and the firm that handles the cities workman’s compensation issues.

Thompson said that he wanted to bring stability and continuity to his position, which, if Mayor John Elam’s comments are any indication, he’s well on the way to.

“Every time I’ve walked past his office, I’ve seen him with his head down and his pencil up, which is very encouraging,” Elam said.

Jody Gibson is the city’s new registered sanitarian, and she also got a welcome at the meeting. She said that she had spent most of her few days playing catch up and sorting through complaints.

“To date, we’ve cleaned seven properties, and we’ve assessed about $2,000 in taxes from those clean ups,” Gibson said.

Also during the meeting, Ironton police chief Jim Carey said that civil service exams had taken place earlier in the week, but it would probably be August before new officers could be trained and out on the streets.

The city also deeded a small strip of land to the Ironton Port Authority near the Ironton Hills plaza, which one IPA member and the mayor said would be used for economic development.

The council suspended the usual rules and gave the ordinance second and third reading by title only, then passed it unanimously, without comment.