GREENVILLE —During Tuesday night’s council meeting, two city employees raised concerns regarding a committee report on compensation for department heads.
Pamela Garland, Greenville’s public transportation director, and Robin Henry, the city’s tax administrator, both addressed council during the public hearing portion of the meeting. Each previously submitted letters to the city expressing their concerns that a Finance Committee assignment, submitted by Councilman Tracy Tryon, was inaccurate and incomplete.
“I would like someone to possibly look at maybe reassigning that, so that all department heads can be included in an acceptable and fair methodology,” Garland told council.
Henry said, “As you can see from my letter that I submitted to council, Tracy admitted to me that he had not researched all the department head’s salaries as he had originally stated in the report he gave to council.”
“I would like to see that accepted report set aside and a more equitable study be done by a committee of more than one person. This report should include all department heads, not just a select few,” she added.
Tryon’s report, submitted to council during that body’s August 2 meeting, recommended the city reevaluate the salaries of Curt Garrison, Greenville’s safety/service director, and Ryan Delk, street department superintendent, salaries which he deemed low in comparison to other cities in Ohio similar in size and character to Greenville and for the work the two perform.
Garland’s letter stated, “The assignment was ‘the review of all current Department’s Head’s compensation and parameters for employment’ by the finance committee.”
“The report/study did not include all department heads,” it continued. “The methodology for the report is also in question for inadequacy as the comparable cities used, did not have transits and there was no consideration for other factors such as education, years of experience, assets managed, etc.”
Henry’s letter asserted that Tryon used an outdated Ohio Municipal League salary survey, from 2013, when a 2015 survey was available. Henry also claimed that Tryon had only examined salaries for police, fire and street departments in addition to the safety/service director salary.
Tryon, acting as council president pro tem during Tuesday’s meeting — as Council President John Burkett sat in the unfilled mayor’s chair as acting mayor — told Garland and Henry the issue would be addressed by Burkett in his mayor’s report.
In his report to council, Burkett asked council members to schedule a special meeting for September 13 at 7 p.m. to discuss the matter in executive session under Ohio Revised Code 122.22(G)(1), which allows for governing bodies to “consider the appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual, unless the public employee, official, licensee, or regulated individual requests a public hearing.”
Burkett said “no action would be taken” during the meeting, as such action is impermissible under Ohio law when meetings are closed to the public.
Tryon told The Daily Advocate that he had indeed examined comparative compensation for all department heads in the city, but that information was often lacking.
“I did research every position. Not every city has the same setup as Greenville. It was difficult,” he said, noting that he avoided cities along the interstate, instead studying rural municipalities and county seats in northwest Ohio, and adding that hourly city workers often make more than salaried workers, due to overtime pay.
“It’s not fair to compare Greenville to cities that have a higher tax rate, a higher cost of living than we do, have a bigger industry base,” Tryon explained.
“I’m not trying to hide from anything or pull the wool over someone’s eyes, I’m just trying to do what I was asked to do,” he said.
Tryon said he hoped the city would contract with an outside, third-party agency to make the final determination on salaries for department heads.
A Personnel and Public Relations Committee meeting to consider the subject of compensation for the safety/service director and street department superintendent is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 8. That committee’s final report is due to be submitted to council October 4.
In other matters addressed during the public hearing, Mike Henderson of Mote and Associates, and Dale Musser, president of the Greenville Park Board, provided council an update on the money being raised toward renovation of the Marling Band Shell in Greenville City Park. The city previously had fronted the project $150,000 for grant-matching purposes for the project, estimated at $300,000.
“So far to date, we have in hand, $94,959.16. We have some verbal commitments that have not come in yet, but we do have commitments that are not listed on here,” said Musser. “We are in hopes, with verbal commitments and another fund the park has, we may indeed go over the $150,000 to around $155,000 that we will have raised.”
In other business council approved the following legislation:
- An ordinance authorizing appropriations to the General Fund for Salaries — Civil Service in the amount of $1,000, and Civil Service Exams — Civil Service in the amount of $2,000; funds needed to cover the additional testing needed for the open fire department positions. And to the Spartech TIF Fund in the amount of $217; the Timmerman TIF Fund in the amount of $72; and to the Andersons Marathon TIF Fund in the amount of $285; funds representing additional monies received in the various TIFs from the county auditor in excess of budget.
- A resolution accepting the amounts and rates for the tax budget for the fiscal year commencing Jan. 1, 2017, as established by the Darke County Budget Commission.
- A resolution approving a contract with Lake County Sewer Company, Inc., for the city’s sanitary sewer grouting needs.
- A resolution authorizing solicitation of bids for removal and disposal of lime sludge from the city’s water treatment plant.
Greenville City Council meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Greenville Municipal Building, 100 Public Square. The public is invited to attend. For more information on city happenings, visit the City of Greenville website at www.cityofgreenville.org.