City charter halts pay schedule change

First Posted: 11/25/2013

LIMA — A discussion to increase the frequency in which elected officials in the city of Lima get paid came to a quick end Monday.

The Lima City Council Finance Committee met Monday to discuss the possibility of changes in the pay schedule for elected officials from monthly to biweekly, a move aimed at making the pay periods uniform with other city workers and therefore easier. However, City Law Director Tony Geiger ended the conversation almost before it got started.

“This is something we cannot change by an ordinance,” Geiger said. “According to our city charter, all elected officials are to be paid monthly.”

Geiger said frequency could only be changed by Lima voters. Routinely, when changes to the city charter are recommended, the idea is sent to the Charter Review Commission for review and then placed on the ballot.

“The next time we go to voters for charter changes we could add this to the list,” Geiger said, “but it doesn’t necessarily have to go through the review commission.”

Councilman Jesse Lowe, who is not on the finance committee but was in attendance, said the suggestion had come up because it was thought it could potentially save city workers some time processing payroll. City workers are paid biweekly and elected officials are all paid monthly, causing for the need of processing three separate payroll periods each month. Lima Director of Audit Services Randall Bartels agreed it could save the city time on payrolls.

“Its not a killer, but it would save us some time,” Bartels said.

Bartels said another goal for next year would be to attempt to switch all city workers to direct deposit. With some workers on direct deposit and others still being issued payroll checks, he said it causes the city to do two separate processes.

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