PDT Staff Writer
On the heels of an announcement by Portsmouth Mayor David Malone that the city is now in “fiscal watch” status, Portsmouth City Council will discuss voting to give themselves a pay raise.
The item appears on the Mayor’s Conference Agenda under “discussion items.” The item reads, “Each member of the Council shall receive a salary of five thousand ($5,000) a year, provided that the member selected to serve as Mayor shall receive a salary of six thousand dollars ($6,000) per year, which salary shall be payable in equal monthly installments, and shall give bond in the sum of one thousand dollars ($1,000.00), with some bonding company regularly accredited to do business in the state of Ohio, or at least two freeholders resident of Scioto County, Ohio as sureties thereof, and the premium of such bond may be paid by the city. Council members and the President of Council/Mayor may, from their salary, pay for city-sponsored health insurance or make other arrangements. The salary for members of Council and President of Council/Mayor shall increase by the average of the percentage increase provided the department heads of the city’s two largest departments, the Fire Department and Police Department, whenever such may occur.”
Under Section 169.10 - Health Insurance Premiums, the proposal reads, “The city shall make available health insurance coverage for hospitalization for all full-time permanent employees, members of City Council, the Mayor, Solicitor and the Auditor upon their request. Said plans shall be for family coverage required.”
Health insurance coverage is $6,002.52 per year for a single plan, and $16,506.84 for a family plan.
In December of 2012, in a damning overview of Portsmouth’s lack of progress in overcoming it’s “fiscal caution” status, The Auditor of State’s Office said Portsmouth is doing little about some issues and nothing about others.
Once the Auditor of State has issued a written declaration (April 8) of the existence of fiscal watch to the governing body of the entity, the entity has 120 days to submit a financial recovery plan to the Auditor of State that identifies actions to be taken to eliminate all of the fiscal watch conditions.
Malone said Friday the city has eliminated the deficit in the current budget, and is actually now carrying a $50,000 surplus
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.