“Amending the Toledo Municipal Code by repealing Section 2101.01(b) and enacting a new Toledo Municipal Code Section 2101.01(b) to change the Salary Group of the Assistant Clerk of Council from E-1 to E-2; and declaring an emergency” was presented to Council on June 7. It was the last item on Agenda Review and is at first reading, which means it won’t be before Council for a vote until June 28.
There’s no real explanation in the summary for the legislation, it states:
The Salary Group for the Assistant Clerk of Council is E-1. The Commissioner level positions in the City are a Salary Group E-2. Council desires to change the salary range for the Assistant Clerk of Council position to be in line with the Commissioner level positions in the City.
It was stated that there is no raise involved, all this is — is a simple re-classification of the position.
However, it’s not that simple. If there is no raise planned anytime in the near future, then why change the classification? The only logical reason to change it is to allow for an increase in salary since the person currently holding the position has reached the top of the salary range.
In 2008 it was demonstrated that there is no vote required for any member of Council staff to get a raise within their classification. The President of Council can do it with or without the support of other members of Council.
The classifications of administrative positions have not been changed for more than a decade. It may very well be time to look at that as well as the salaries for commissioners, directors, administrative staff, etc. Especially since the director of legislative operations and the assistant manager of legislative operations for Council have been left unfilled.
Councilman Joe McNamara has raised the issue of desk audits in the past, one of the most recent requests related to Council Aides was tabled July 20, 2010. He mentioned asking for Human Resources to assist in performing a desk audit before the change from E-1 to E-2 were done for the assistant clerk position, but there’s not enough support for that on council.
Assistant City Auditor, Assistant Clerk of Council, Executive Director-Youth Commission, Manager-Administrative Services, Manager-Legislative Operations, Manager-Public Services and Public Information Coordinator are currently E-1 Salary group positions according to Toledo’s code. The salary range is $48,500 to $68,500 and was put into effect on January 1, 1998.
Chief-Public Health Dentistry, City Auditor, Commissioner-Administrative Services, Commissioner-Public Services, Executive Director-Affirmative Action/Contract Compliance and Executive Director-Board of Community Relations are currently E-2 salary group positions according to Toledo’s code. The salary range is $52,000 to $77,500 and was also put into effect on January 1, 1998.
It states in the section referencing salaries that, “Salary ranges shall be reviewed periodically to determine the market average for like level positions based upon a salary survey for such comparable positions. Recommendations to adjust the ranges may be presented to City Council.”
Some of the jobs have changed, as well as some of the titles used. Technology has changed quite a bit since 1998, responsibilities could have increased or decreased for these positions. More than enough time has passed to look at the overall classifications and salaries. If the Bell administration does not want to do this at this point, there are other positions under the responsibility of Council: Clerk of Council, the Director of the Plan Commission and the City Auditor; it seems to make more sense to look at those positions as well.
Research into what other similar city’s pay should be a part of this. In Youngstown an additional deputy clerk was hired at $40,958, the clerk makes $67,861.82 in annual base salary, and the first assistant clerk earns $51,580.36. It also created a bit of controversy as to was an additional deputy clerk necessary. Cleveland City Council, according to the Buckeye Institute paid their deputy clerk $64,526 in 2010 and their clerk $90,544.
According to Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission there is a range of salaries and benefits, which is understandable since the governmental bodies vary in size. As an example, they don’t list an assistant clerk of council for Columbus, but the clerk of council’s salary range is $70,346 to $105,560. Toledo’s range for the clerk of council position is $60,500 to $92,500.
Considering members of council won’t have a future say on a salary increase should the change from E-1 to E-2 be done, evaluation is important when it comes to asking why this is needed now if no increase in salary is planned.